Regents to discuss law quad renovations, plans for Trotter as part of December meeting

Monday, December 5, 2016 - 3:09pm

Thursday, the University of Michigan Board of Regents will hold their final meeting of the calendar year. The board is set to hear proposals including renovations to the Law Quad, approval of the schematic design for the new William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center and approval for an honorary law degree to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

If approved, Sotomayor is slated to receive the honorary degree on Jan. 20, 2017 at the Presidential Bicentennial Colloquium.
 
The Law Quad proposal, submitted by Chief Financial Officer Kevin Hegarty, calls for improvements to walkways, exterior lighting and underground utilities and is slated to cost 6.2 million dollars.
 
“The iconic Law Quad is in need of significant infrastructure improvements,” Hegarty wrote in the request. “This project proposes to refurbish the historic exterior building lights at all entrances, install Collegiate Gothic style light poles, and replace deteriorated walkways with bluestone pavers.”
 
The proposed project will also repair and replace storm sewers, electrical issues and tunnels. A total of 25 on-site construction jobs are scheduled to be completed in the Law Quad by fall of 2017.
 
Additionally, E. Royster Harper, vice president of student life, and Hegarty are seeking approval for the schematic design of the new Trotter Multicultural Center. Last Dec., the Board of Regents approved the project to replace the old center’s facilities. The new Center will have a multipurpose room for events and conferences, along with an active learning configuration. Its construction has caused mixed reactions from students of campus, who worry the construction will add traffic and commotion to an otherwise quant area. In Winter 2014, the Black Student Union called for the relocation of Trotter as part of the #BBUM movement — a student-driven campaign sharing the experiences of Black students on campus.
 
“The proposed William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center is a result of extensive outreach and input from a variety of constituents,” Harper and Hegarty wrote. “Engagement included four town halls, eight focus group sessions, benchmarking to other university multicultural centers, and a survey of students.”
 
The 20,000 gross square foot project, located on State Street near the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, is slated to cost $10 million, and will include 13 on-site construction jobs. The construction is set to be completed in the fall of 2018.