State-funded project to renovate science and computing facilities at UM-Dearborn takes a major step forward
January 16, 2008
DEARBORN / Jan. 16, 2008---A $36 million renovation project at the University of Michigan-Dearborn took a major step forward this week with Governor Jennifer Granholm’s recommendation of a number of capital outlay projects at Michigan’s public universities and community colleges.
At UM-Dearborn, the project would renovate science laboratories and computer facilities in the campus’s Science Building and the adjacent Computing Wing. The Science Building is one of the original four buildings from the campus’s opening in 1959 and was last renovated in 1985.
“Compared with other schools in the state, we have a very large proportion of students enrolled in natural sciences and in the engineering programs that rely on the basic sciences,” according to UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little.
Enrollment in the sciences, especially in biological sciences, has been growing significantly on campus in recent years. In addition, the growth of Internet and computer-based instruction have had a huge impact on the ways science is taught over the past two decades.
“This renovation project is crucial to our ability to provide the best learning environment for our students, as well as high-quality research spaces for our faculty members,” Little said.
The state’s capital outlay process requires Michigan’s public universities to match at least 25 percent of the total cost of any project, so the proposed renovation at UM-Dearborn will receive $27 million from the state, if the governor’s proposal is adopted by the legislature. UM-Dearborn will provide the matching funds through long-term debt and private support.
“We still have a long way to go in this process before we can start the renovation,” according to Edward Bagale, vice chancellor for government relations at UM-Dearborn. “But the governor’s recommendation is a very important step and reflects the strong support we’ve received for this proposal from our representatives in the legislature, including Senator Irma Clark-Coleman and Representatives Morris Hood III and Gino Polidori.”
The governor’s recommendation also included a $15 million project at Henry Ford Community College.
“Taken as a whole, the governor’s recommendation accounts for nearly $1 billion in construction on college campuses across the state,” Bagale said. “In addition to what it means to our students, this is a jobs bill and is critically important to reviving our state’s economy and putting people back to work.”