Regents to consider fireworks for Big Chill at the Big House

By Kyle Swanson, Daily News Editor
Published November 15, 2010

At its meeting later this week, the University’s Board of Regents is expected to approve a fireworks show for the Dec. 11 Big Chill at the Big House matchup against Michigan State University.

In a communication sent to the University’s regents, Tim Slottow, the University’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, wrote that fireworks would be displayed during player introductions and a 10-minute show at the end of the game would be choreographed to music. Both displays would be performed from the rooftops of the new skybox towers at the stadium.

Additionally, Slottow wrote, fireworks would be launched for approximately five seconds each time Michigan nets a goal. These fireworks would be set off directly from the field.

No information about how much the show would cost was provided in the communication to the regents. However, Slottow wrote that fireworks display company, ACE Pyro, LLC, has been selected to manage the event, if the show is approved by the regents and passes a safety and security screening by the University’s fire marshal.

'U' to request 2.6-percent increase in state appropriations

The University’s Board of Regents is also expected to approve a letter to be sent to the state’s budget director, Bob Emerson.

The letter, signed by University President Mary Sue Coleman, is sent to the state each year and outlines the University’s commitment to cost containment as well as the economic impact the University has on the state.

In the draft letter, submitted to the regents by University Provost Philip Hanlon, Coleman wrote that she understands the state's current fiscal constraints but that investing in higher education is essential to Michigan’s revitalization.

“We respectfully ask that the state reinvest in higher education by increasing our appropriation by 2.6 percent in fiscal year 2012, in order to cover the projected 1.6 percent increase in the Detroit CPI and the one percent in lost state scholarship funding for students with need,” Coleman wrote.

The 1-percent loss in state scholarship is the result of the elimination of the Michigan Promise Scholarship and reductions to the Michigan Competitive Scholarship.

Regents to consider partial MLB, School of Education renovations

In two separate communications to the University’s Board of Regents, Slottow also requested a total of $3.4 million to finance the renovation of parts of the Modern Language Building and the School of Education building.

The first request, which seeks $2 million from the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, would finance renovations to the MLB’s basement and second floor.

In his letter to the regents, Slottow wrote that the renovation would include repurposing the former Language Resource Center — now located in the North Quadrangle academic building — to meet the needs of LSA’s Instructional Support Services Media Center, which is currently housed in leased space off campus.

Additionally, the project would repurpose space in the basement of the MLB to house the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures film editing suites, which are currently located in the Argus II Building.

If approved, the project would be completed during the summer of 2011.

In his second request, Slottow asked the regents to approve a $1.4 million project that would renovate a vacated storage space in the School of Education to create the Brandon Professional Center and Archive.

Slottow described the new space as “a 21st-century education library” that would house a wide array of resources that could be used by students for studying professional practices in education.

The project would be funded by a private gift, investment income and School of Education resources, Slottow wrote. If approved, the project would be completed in fall 2011.