Regents to talk Crisler renovations at meeting

By Kaitlin Williams, Daily Staff Reporter
Published September 12, 2011

The University’s Board of Regents will kick off the new school year with discussions of campus renovations and expansions during its meeting in the Fleming Administration Building Thursday afternoon.

At the forefront of the agenda is a proposal to approve the next phase of renovations to Crisler Arena.

In a communication to the regents, Timothy Slottow, the University’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, and University Athletic Director Dave Brandon recommended that the regents authorize the Crisler Arena project for outside bids and award construction contracts.

The regents approved the schematic design of the project at their monthly meeting in May. Brandon and Slottow also recommended that the regents approve the submission of bids that are within the proposed $52 million budget for the project.

The 63,000-square-foot addition to the arena will include new entrances and retail, ticket and private club areas. Another 54,000-square-foot addition will add handicap-accessible seats, additional restrooms, concession stands and other “fan amenities,” the communication states.

Construction on the arena is scheduled to be complete in winter 2014.

Two new Medical School departments likely to be approved

The University Medical School is requesting the regents’ approval to establish two new departments: the Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics and the Department of Cardiac Surgery.

According to Medical School Dean James Woolliscroft and Ora Pescovitz, the University’s executive vice president for medical affairs, the establishment of the departments will be instrumental to the University’s academic growth.

In a communication to the regents, Woolliscroft and Pescovitz stated that the two concentrations have grown to require a substantial amount of faculty and resources and warrant approval as official Medical School departments.

The regents will vote separately to establish the two departments. If approved, the changes will become effective on Jan. 2.

‘U’ likely to purchase 716 Oakland Ave.

The regents will also review the purchase of 716 Oakland Ave. — a property located near Weill Hall and the University Law School’s new South Hall.

Slottow requested that the regents approve the purchase and wrote that the land is “strategically located” and “will further the University’s options for development” of the area around the Law School.

The construction of South Hall is scheduled to be completed in January 2012. The University has been undergoing negotiations with the city to construct a pedestrian mall on the 700 block of Monroe Street to connect South Hall with the rest of the Law Quadrangle.

Regents to vote on GG Brown renovations project

The regents will vote to approve a complete overhaul of the 53-year-old-George Granger Brown Memorial Laboratories building on North Campus at their meeting Thursday. If approved, the project would cost an estimated $47 million.

Though a schematic design won’t be submitted to the regents on Thursday, the board will consider the proposed renovation. The project aims to “create state-of-the-art academic and instructional spaces” in the building located on North Campus, Slottow wrote.

Currently, the 220,000-square-foot building houses four departments of the College of Engineering — civil, chemical, materials sciences and mechanical engineering.

Under the proposed renovations, the state of Michigan would fund approximately $30 million of the project. The University would be required to cover the remaining estimated $17 million using investment proceeds and resources from the College of Engineering and the Office of the Provost.