During its monthly meeting on Thursday, the University’s Board of Regents is set to review proposals that would spend $31.4 million to renovate facilities and upgrade operations.
The regents are expected to approve renovations to Wolverine Tower, the Edward Henry Kraus Building, the Chemistry Building and the Willard H. Dow Laboratory. The regents are also expected to give the OK for a renovation and relocation of the Alexander G. Ruthven Museums Building and the Museum of Zoology collection and a maintenance project to strengthen information technology services on campus.
The largest of the projects to be considered is a $17.6 million relocation and renovation project for the Museum of Zoology’s collection. According to the formal request from Timothy Slottow, executive vice president and chief financial officer, the project will move most of the “wet” collection — consisting of specimens preserved in fluid — into 46,000 square feet of newly renovated space in the Varsity Drive building.
Additionally, the project will include a plan to create a safe storage area for the museum’s teaching collection by renovating about 6,800 square feet of space in the Ruthven Museums Building.
In a communication to the regents, Slottow laid out his request for $2.2 million to fund a renovation of four laboratory facilities in the Edward Henry Kraus Building. If approved, renovations will include work on four laboratories and their support spaces on the first, second, third and fourth floors of the building. The 5,900 square-foot project is slated for completion in the fall of 2010.
Slottow is also requesting an additional $6.3 million for a 61,000 square-foot renovation spanning seven floors of the Wolverine Tower facility, located on State Street across from Briarwood Mall. According to Slottow’s letter requesting approval for the funds, goals of the renovation include “more efficient use of office space and increased cross-departmental sharing” of various common areas. The renovations will temporarily displace 50 parking spots at Wolverine Tower until the project is completed in fall 2011.
The fourth project up for consideration is a $3.8 million upgrade to IT Communication infrastructure at the University. The project would replace networking infrastructure that coordinates data sharing between buildings on campus, would improve the University’s wireless network and would upgrade components of the University’s telephone switch. Additionally, funds would be used to extend outside cabling to North Quad, the North Campus Research Complex and the Wall Street complex.
Finally, the regents will also entertain a proposal to replace a chiller — a large air conditioner — in the Chemistry Building that serves both the Chemistry Building and the Willard H. Dow Laboratory. The replacement is estimated to cost $1.5 million, though a communication from Slottow to the regents said its replacement would provide nearly $300,000 a year in energy savings to the University. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2010.
— James Lee contributed to this report.