by Geoff Larcom, Published October 20, 2009
YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University has identified Strong Hall as its top building project priority in its capital outlay request to the state of Michigan for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
Strong Hall is part of EMU’s Science Complex, and houses the geology and geography and the physics and astronomy departments. The facility was built in 1957 and has not received any significant improvements or renovations since its construction.
The estimated cost to renovate Strong Hall is $38 million. The University’s cost share would be $9.5 million, or 25 percent of the total project cost, and would be funded from University reserves.
“This project, along with the $90-million, self-funded addition and renovation of the Science Complex, which is in progress, demonstrates the university’s commitment to the sciences,” said EMU President Sue Martin.
The Strong Hall project would include renovation of the entire existing structure of 87,500 square feet. It would modernize classrooms and lab space and introduce new technology while creating flexible use spaces for research and instruction. Fire suppression and other mechanical, electrical and structural systems would be replaced and upgraded.
The modernized and reconfigured space would provide students with much-needed gathering space for impromptu meetings with faculty and classmates. The improvements will also provide flexibility in classroom configuration to adapt to the changing instructional environment. The Science Complex project would connect to the west end of Strong Hall.
The University also is requesting an increase of 3.6 percent to its annual state appropriation for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. EMU’s budgeted state appropriation for this fiscal year is $76.2 million.
The EMU Board of Regents approved the state capital outlay and state appropriations requests at its meeting Tuesday.