by Geoff Larcom, Published October 19, 2010
YPSILANTI - The renovation of Strong Hall remains Eastern Michigan University's top capital project priority in its annual capital outlay request to the state of Michigan.
The EMU Board of Regents approved the proposed request at its meeting Tuesday, Oct. 19.
Strong Hall is part of Eastern's Science Complex, and currently houses the department of geology and geography and the department of astronomy and physics. Strong Hall, located in the middle of campus, was built in 1957 and has not received any significant overall improvements since its construction.
Meanwhile, Eastern has invested $90 million in the renovation of the adjacent Mark Jefferson building and construction of 80,000 square feet of new academic facilities, including a planetarium, connecting both to make up Eastern's Science Complex.
'"The Strong Hall project, along with the $90-million, self-funded addition and renovation of the Science Complex, vividly demonstrates Eastern's commitment to the sciences and to the success of our students and faculty," said President Susan Martin.
The Strong Hall project will involve renovation of the entire 87,500 square feet structure across three floors, including classrooms, lecture halls, student commons areas and faculty offices. Existing space will be reconfigured to modernize classrooms and lab space and add new technology. There will be flexible use spaces for research and instruction and updating of fire suppression systems, plus replacement of architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical systems.
The estimated cost to renovate Strong Hall is $38 million. Under the customary breakdown of 75 percent state and 25 percent university, Eastern's cost share would be $9.5 million. All renovations would meet LEED Silver Criteria and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.