by Pamela Young, Published October 18, 2011
YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University has again identified Strong Hall as its top building project priority in its capital outlay request to the state of Michigan for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The EMU Board of Regents approved the state capital outlay at its regular meeting today (Oct. 18).
Strong Hall is part of Eastern's Science Complex, and houses the geology and geography, and the physics and astronomy departments. It is part of the University's largest college, the College of Arts and Sciences. The facility was built in 1957 and has not received any significant improvements or renovations since its construction.
"Our efforts to be responsive to the needs of the people of our state are recognized by government leaders in Lansing," said Susan Martin, Eastern's president. "We are hopeful it will result in support of our 2012-2013 Capital Outlay Request, which we recommended for Board of Regents approval this afternoon."
The estimated cost to renovate Strong Hall is $40 million. If the Capital Outlay Request is approved, Eastern would be responsible for 25 percent or $10 million.
The project, along with the $90 million, self-funded addition and renovation of the Science Complex, which recently opened, demonstrates Eastern Michigan University's commitment to the sciences, Martin said.
The Strong Hall project would include renovation of the entire existing 87,500 square -foot structure. It would modernize classrooms and lab space, and introduce new technology while creating flexible space 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 would 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.