Strong Hall next up for renovations

Eastern Michigan University is making the Strong Hall science complex a top priority for the fiscal year 2010-2011.

“This project, along with the construction of the new science complex, demonstrates Eastern Michigan’s commitment to the sciences,” said John Lumm, the chief financial officer for business and finance.

He added that, “Along with the $90 million Mark Jefferson building renovation and addition, this $38 million project would complete the Science Complex renovations or upgrades and result in world class science facilities on our campus.”

Strong Hall is home to the geology and geography and the physics and astronomy departments. The complex was built in 1957 and has not received any significant improvements or renovations since its construction. The request for the construction was made by the state of Michigan for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

The renovation will add an additional six thousand square feet. Strong Hall will be extended on the west side of building. The extra space will provide students more room to meet with teachers and other classmates. The building will contain new technology for research and experiments as well as important fire, mechanical, electrical and structural systems will be replaced and upgraded. The renovations will also connect Strong Hall and Mark Jefferson.

“I am glad that they are finally fixing up Strong Hall, it really needs it. It was a good idea to connect Strong and Mark Jefferson because it will make getting to class easier,” said Shawna Mounts, EMU senior and psychology major.

EMU estimated the cost for the renovation will be about $38 million. The University’s cost share will be $9.5 million or 25 percent of the total project cost, and will be funded from University reserves. The State of Michigan’s share of the project would be $28.5 million dollars or 75 percent of the project cost. Eastern Michigan University is also is requesting an increase of 3.6 percent to its annual state appropriation for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. The university budgeted state appropriation for this fiscal year is $72.6 million.

The renovations of strong will be split up as $19 million for the renovation of the structure of the building; $500,000 for new technologies; and $9 million will be spent on fees, contingencies, permits and administrative costs. The last $9.5 million will be spent on owner’s costs.

The project is set to begin as early as January 2010 and is believed to take up to three years to complete.
EMU regents approved the outlay and appropriations last Tuesday and President Susan Martin has signed an agreement with an architect and engineering firm for professional architectural and engineering design services for the modernization and renovation of Strong Hall.

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