Construction Season Starting at MSU

FOX 47 News

Construction Season Starting at MSU

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Apr 12, 2013

Major upgrades are planned for Michigan State University. Among the construction projects, a new 130,000 square feet Bio-Engineering research facility.

"A portion of it is funded by the state of Michigan and so we are waiting legislative approval. We're hoping we'll get that in May," said Dan Bollman, the Director of Engineering and Architectural Services at Michigan State University.

The new Bio-Engineering building will be four stories, but only the first two will be completely finished inside and out. The third and fourth floors will remain a shell. Construction will take about two years.

"What this is going to do is cutting edge cross-disciplinary research between a number of different colleges on campus," said Bollman.

It's a joint effort by the Engineering, Human Medicine and Natural Science colleges. The new building will connect with other existing buildings to form a science complex.

Across campus more projects are slated.

Morrill Hall is over 100 years old. The university plans to tear it down and in its place put green space--that includes grass, trees, sidewalks, and possibly a plaza to commemorate the site.

"It was the first women's dormitory in the area and I believe in the nation," said Bollman.

Some students are sad this piece of history is going to be demolished and disappear from campus.

"It's a great part of campus. It's beautiful even though it is older and kind of run down, but if you go in it you feel there is a lot of history," said Gabby Saldivia, a sophomore at MSU. "I don't know if it was the first building, but it was one of the originals--it has a lot of significance for the University. I feel like it will be sad to have it not be here anymore."

So why is the university getting ride of this piece of history?

"Cost is a big part of it. But also it doesn't really fit anymore with this part of campus. It's a little too close to our parking ramp which is right behind it," said Bollman.

In more recent years the university built a parking garage next to Morrill Hall.

"We are actually saving a number of the bricks and they are going to be over at our recycling and surplus facility. They will be offered for sale so if you want a commemorative brick from this building you will be able to go over and purchase that."

Morrill Hall's demolition will cost an estimated $1 million.

While all summer long campus will be busy with construction, the second week in May will be the busiest. Above you can see a map of campus with a list of projects being worked on.

The University Board of Trustees meets Friday morning. One of the items on the agenda is to authorize the construction of the Bio-Engineering facility.

The board will also considering signing off on the next stage of development for the FRIB.

President Obama's proposed budget, which was released Wednesday includes $55 million for the project. That budget still needs the approval of congress.

Ground has already been broken on the FRIB project. If completed, it could be up and running by 2021.