New additions and upgrades at UM-Flint

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New footbridge over the Flint River
New footbridge over the Flint River

Summer sizzled at UM-Flint with several renovations on campus. Here are some of the prominent and behind-the-scenes improvements that have been taking place across the university in recent months.

University Pavilion

First floor of University Pavilion
First floor of University Pavilion

The escalator has been removed within the pavilion. This eliminates the need for costly maintenance and upkeep, clears up room for the dining area and creates more open space said George Hakim, director of facilities and operations at UM-Flint. The elevator is scheduled to be refurbished in the coming months, along with signs added to navigate people to the stairwells.

University Pavilion roof
University Pavilion roof

The roof of the pavilion has also been refurbished, including new walking paths for workers and others with access to this area.

University Tower and Riverfront Center

Both downtown buildings are being upgraded with new energy control systems, Hakim said, making them the latest facilities on campus to add this feature.

University Tower and Riverfront Center
University Tower and Riverfront Center

“We have the ability to monitor temperatures in buildings, identify any system issues, in the buildings, and adjust the lighting,” said Hakim. Staff from within facilities operations can remotely adjust temperatures, lights, heating, and air conditioning, said Tim Barden, assistant director of facilities and operations. This saves staff time and money and fixes the issue quickly, Barden said.

William S. White Building

The university has added its second lactation room.  A room on the 4th floor of the William S. White building has been converted into the new space, which added a door to provide direct access off the main corridor, comfortable furniture, and new counter and sink. There is also a lactation room in the University Center. The new location was chosen due to demand for it in the White Building.

Lactation room on 4th floor of William S. White Building
Lactation room on 4th floor of William S. White Building

“We are continuing to look for other space on campus to convert into lactation rooms,” said Hakim.

Within the White building, the nursing offices are being reconfigured, with new carpeting and rooms. On the first floor, the university’s new food service provider Picasso Restaurant Group has opened Blue Bistro. Picasso is also running Café Blue in the Harding Mott University Center lobby. These are spots that have been expanded and renovated from what was previously offered. Both locations will have a variety of sandwiches, fruit cups, beverages, and snacks. The Blue Bistro will also serve soup.

The Blue Bistro on the 1st floor of the William S. White Building
The Blue Bistro on the 1st floor of the William S. White Building

Hamilton Dam

Former site of the Hamilton Dam
Former site of the Hamilton Dam

Large portions of the Hamilton Dam including the crumbling concrete structure and failing gates were removed this summer by Genesee County Parks (GCP) to make way for future river restoration activities upstream and downstream of the UM-Flint campus. The dam is located in the center of campus and owned/operated by the City of Flint. Staff from the university monitored the project’s progress and worked with GCPs to minimize any inconvenience to university members during this work, said Mike Lane, UM-Flint’s Director of Environment, Health and Safety. GCP is continuing with their restoration of the impacted areas on either side of the river including reseeding the lawn, planting trees and restoring the site to pre-construction conditions.

Mill Street Parking Deck

New LED lights in Mill Street ramp

University crews retrofitted all 490 light fixtures at the Mill Street Parking Deck into LED lighting, said Barden. This will save about $12,600 annually, he said. This conversion means all of the university parking deck lights are now LED, which are longer-lasting, reduce energy consumption, and are brighter.

Robert is a staff writer in University Communications & Marketing. Contact him with comments, questions, and story ideas.