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Jan. 23, 2007
CONTACT: Ward Mullens

EMU announces plans for largest construction project in school history

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University is moving forward with the largest construction project in school history, the $100 million Mark Jefferson Science Complex.

The development of the new Mark Jefferson Science Complex was announced at a press conference January 23.

The EMU Board of Regents unanimously voted to proceed with the renovation of the existing Mark Jefferson building and new construction to make the Mark Jefferson Science Complex at its regular meeting Jan. 19.

“This is an exciting project because the new complex will be a regional science center that focuses on science education,” said John A. Fallon, III, president of Eastern Michigan University.  “It increases opportunities for more undergraduate and graduate research for both students and faculty, and will make a greater impact on our teacher education program.”

The estimated cost of the entire project is $100 million. The plan encompasses $26.7 million for renovation of the 180,802 square foot building and $73.3 million for 151,000 square feet of new construction.

The project will be primarily funded through the sale of bonds. The majority of the repayment of the bonds will be funded from the four percent tuition and fee increase approved by the Board for this purpose in fall 2005.

“The scope of this renewal project will rehabilitate Mark Jefferson’s infrastructure. Furthermore, this renovation will renew a mix of laboratory and classroom spaces to support general education/basic studies curriculum, undergraduate and graduate programming and faculty/student research,” said Janice M. Stroh, vice president of business and finance for EMU. “With these improvements, the University will be able to expand its curriculum to meet the needs of today’s scientific educators and to be competitive among universities of comparable size and instructional mission.”


Derrick Gragg
Mark Jefferson

Constructed: 1967-1969, opened 1969
Original Architect: Einhorn, Yaffee, Prescott, P.C.
Renovations: 1996, chemistry labs renovated along with structural repairs to the west side of the building (brick replacement). 2006, elevator upgrades.
History of the building: Visit this link
Download: High-resolution photos of the building

The renovations and modernization of the Mark Jefferson Science Complex Project have been identified in the University’s Five Year Capital Outlay Plan since 1998.

Constructed in 1969 at a cost of $8.2 million, the five-story Mark Jefferson building houses the primary facilities for the College of Arts and Sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics and psychology.

The building is named for Mark Jefferson, head of the geography department at EMU from 1901-39. Jefferson had received numerous distinguished awards for his work as an educator and geographer. In 1918-19, he was cartographer to the World War I peace commission in Paris that negotiated the Treaty of Versailles.

With the approval of the plan, EMU has invested more than $350 million in new construction in the past 10 years. Other projects include the recently completed student center, the new College of Health and Human Services building (Marshall), the College of Education (Porter Building) and the Bruce T. Halle Library.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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