Though the renovation of East Quad Residence Hall is only just underway, the University’s Board of Regents is slated to vote on a $60 million renovation to South Quad Residence Hall at its meeting on Thursday.

In their first meeting of the academic year, the regents will also be discussing a proposal for a new MRI machine within the University of Michigan Health System and renovations on elevators in the Modern Language Building, in addition to infrastructure upgrades at the Willard H. Dow Laboratory.

Built in 1951, South Quad is the current home of many student athletes and the University’s Honors Program. Though renovations to the structure will be extensive, the changes won’t be quite as overarching as those to other residence halls. According to a communication to the regents written by Timothy Slottow, the University’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, less than one-third of the building’s 390,000 square feet will be affected by the project.

Slottow wrote that the renovation would impact about 106,700 square feet for expansion of the dining hall and renovation of restrooms throughout the building. The plans also call for the reorganization of some community spaces and the addition of study spots, music practice rooms and modernized lounges.

He also wrote that the plan would include new heating and cooling systems, fire suppression systems and improved wireless Internet access. If approved, the project will be funded by University Housing’s budget.

Slottow did not indicate a projected start date for the project. If the motion to consider the renovations is approved by the regents, it will allow the University to begin consultation with an architectural firm.

The University has already spent $595.7 million on residence hall and dining construction since workers broke ground on the Mosher-Jordan Residence Hall renovation project in 2006 as part of the Residential Life Initiative to upgrade the University’s residence halls. If plans for the renovation of South Quad are approved, the total cost of residence hall construction will reach $655.7 million.

University Hospital requests “open” MRI

Citing advancements in medical technology, Ora Pescovitz, the executive vice president for medical affairs, and Slottow wrote in a communication to the regents that the University of Michigan Health System is looking to procure its first “open” MRI machine.

According to the communication, the machine would require renovation of 900 square feet of the University Hospital. Pescovitz and Slottow wrote that the total cost of the machine and renovations would be about $3.25 million.

“Advancements in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology now allow scanners to operate with a lower magnetic field and to be ‘open’ rather than ‘closed,’ which permits easier patient entry and increased comfort for patients who fear enclosed spaces,” Pescovitz and Slottow wrote.

If approved, the project would be completed by spring 2013, according to the communication.

University to upgrade MLB elevator systems and replace aging chiller units

In two separate communications, Slottow outlined the need to replace elevators in the University’s Modern Languages Building, as well as install a replacement chiller unit for the Willard H. Dow Laboratory to maintain machinery and infrastructure temperatures.

According to the communication, the current MLB elevators have been operating since the building’s original construction in 1972. Slottow wrote that decreasing reliability and increasing repair costs have made maintaining the current elevators untenable.

The estimated cost for the replacement is $1.2 million, which includes the addition of a new “penthouse mechanical room” to the roof to control the elevators. Slottow estimated the work would be completed by spring 2014, if approved.

In another communication, Slottow wrote that the Willard H. Dow Laboratory is in need of two replacement chiller units. The new units, which command a price of $7 million, will lead to $600,000 annual savings for the University, he wrote.

The two current steam absorption chillers, installed in 1988, are slated to be replaced by electric chillers. According to the communication, a third steam absorption chiller failed in 2010 and has already been replaced by an electric chiller.

The $7 million estimate includes new piping, control valves and an electrical substation to provide adequate power to the new units. If approved, the project would be completed by fall 2013.

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