The LSA Building is about to get a facelift – plus a new roof; new cooling tower and chillers; and revamped wiring, said Diane Brown, spokesperson for Facilities and Operations.

Paul Wong
The LSA Building, located on State Street, will soon see a new roof and cooling tower.

Students expressed mixed emotions about the idea of the LSA Building renovations, but most said they were in favor.

“This whole place seems run-down,” said LSA freshman Suchi Sethi as she pointed to the chipped paint on an office door in the basement. “If you go to any engineering building, they are so much nicer.”

“In terms of location, it’s a good place,” said RC junior Amy Horning. But she also said that her class meets in a room that is “long and skinny … it’s not conducive to discussion at all.”

Plans for renovations of the 54-year-old building are still in the preliminary stages, and architects are working on the schematic design. It is not yet known which departments will permanently relocate. Brown said she expects more solid plans to be released after the first of the year. She said only a couple of floors will have new layouts, including the fifth floor penthouse, which will be changed to make room for the new cooling tower and chillers.

The construction will start with completely gutting the inside of the building so that new wiring can be installed and fire safety measures installed. Brown said this will begin when the occupants of the LSA Building move into other campus buildings, including the newly renovated Haven Hall and Mason Hall, which is still under construction. She said the LSA building project was a priority of the College of Literature, Sciences and Arts.

“It fit in because they were able to get the Mason and Haven projects done,” said Brown.

Brown said the project should take about 18 months after demolition inside the building ends.

“The preliminary plan is to have the building empty probably around June of 2003,” she said. This means the project will run through next school year and finish early in 2005.

The Board of Regents approved the project in 1999. It will be cost about $25 million, with the state of Michigan funding $16.5 million and the University paying the rest. Simpson Gumpertz and Heger Inc. is the architectural firm in charge of the project.

Brown said she did not know how the construction would affect parking. She said there would be minimal impact on State Street, but the parking lot behind the LSA Building might be used as a lay down area by the construction team.

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