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Regents to consider multiple renovation projects

By Sam Gringlas, Daily News Editor
and Jennifer Calfas, Managing News Editor
Published December 16, 2013

Before the University’s Board of Regents flies to New York in January for three days of seminars and fundraising events, they will convene Thursday for their last meeting of the year. The regents are expected to approve a host of renovation and infrastructure projects as well as provide authorization to seek construction bids on existing initiatives.

Regents to approve Pierpont Commons renovation

Pending approval at Thursday’s meeting, the University will move forward with the next phase of a multi-year renovation of the unions and recreational spaces.

University Unions has proposed the renovation of Commons Cafe, the food-court style space located within Pierpont Commons on North Campus. The project will renovate about 10,500 square feet of space, including the cafe’s food stands, dining areas and surrounding spaces, including four new culinary stations and upgraded finishes throughout the dining area.

Estimated to cost about $5.3 million, the renovation will be funded by the Student Life Student Fee for Facility Renewal, a $65 annual student fee approved by the regents in April to fund renovations to the Michigan Union, Pierpont Commons and the recreational sports facilities.

Central Student Government and LSA Student Government representatives spent much of last year lobbying for renovations of the University’s recreation and common spaces.

At the regents meeting in April, Caroline Canning, former LSA Student Government President, said investing in the University’s brick-and-mortar student spaces is crucial.

“Spaces on campus aren’t just spaces; spaces are where college experiences really unfold,” Canning said in April.

The project will be designed by SHW Group and construction is scheduled to complete in the fall of 2014.

Infrastructure upgrades at Law Library, Hatcher Graduate Library up for consideration

In separate agenda items, the regents will vote to approve projects at two of the University’s most frequented libraries.

After a 2010 study of the William Cook Legal Research Library’s infrastructure, the University identified key maintenance priorities for the more than 80-year-old library.

On Thursday, the regents will consider plans to provide needed attic insulation and replace much of the ninth floor’s roofing for an estimated $1.7 million provided by General Fund resources.

The plan calls for the replacement of 4,200 square feet of failing roofing and 5,100 square feet of failing membrane roofing on the ninth floor. The project will add 9,600 square feet of attic space under the roof to allow for fireproofing and energy saving insulation.

Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library is also set to receive additional upgrades.

Focused on replacing the building’s nearly 40 year-old fire detection and alarm system, the project will bring Hatcher’s alarm and emergency lighting systems up to current safety codes. Estimated to cost $3 million, the project will be funded by investment proceeds.

The University of Michigan Department of Architecture, Engineering and Construction will design both projects, with SmithGroupJJR collaborating on the Hatcher Library project.

Construction at both libraries is slated for completion by the fall of 2014.

Schematic design for Nuclear Engineering Laboratory renovation to be considered

At the September 2013 meeting, the regents approved the $11.4 million renovation of the Ford Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, which will transform the building into classroom and laboratory space.