Figuratively and literally, a new bridge symbolized a connection between students and the Life Sciences at Michigan Program yesterday.
At an official ceremony, Life Sciences Institute Managing Director Liz Barry, LSA Dean Terry McDonald and Chemistry Department Chairman William Roush were three of several participants to open a new pedestrian bridge connecting the Medical and Central Campuses. The bridge is located at the corner of Washtenaw Avenue and Zina Pitcher Place.
“It was a fun ceremony,” Barry said. “Bringing the campus together is what the campus planners intended.”
The LSI also opened yesterday, which is one of three new buildings connected with the initiative.
Administrative staff received keys yesterday and will not be fully unpacked until the end of the semester. Faculty members begin to move in at the beginning of next month and all their lab equipment should be installed by the end of December. Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students eventually will do lab work in the building.
Yesterday represented the first completed phase of construction for the sciences, which is expected to continue for the better part of the decade. The 99,000 square-feet Commons Building, slated for completion in March 2004, was supposed to open in November. But LSI spokesman Karl Bates said several construction workers switched from the Commons – which will host meeting space, conference rooms and a food court – to the Institute, to make sure the latter would be completed this month.
In September 2004, a new parking structure by the buildings will fully open. Currently, only 400 spaces are open, and the rest closed until more construction is finished.
Finally, in December 2005, the Undergraduate Sciences Building will open and feature studio labs where professors can teach lectures and conduct labs simultaneously. That same year, the Biomedical Sciences Research Building, which seeks to blend many branches of medical science, will open its doors.
Other projects approved by the University Board of Regents, but that are still being drawn up, include a Center for Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology on North Campus and a Cardiovascular Center, currently planned for the Medical campus. Both those buildings will not be done until at least 2006 and 2007, respectively.