University of Michigan-Dearborn Receives $30M from State for Building Renovations
Money from the state will be used to partially fund renovations to the school's science and CIS buildings.
Funds were approved as part of the Capital Outlay Bill, which was signed into law this week by Gov. Snyder. It includes a commitment of more than $304 million to fund 18 construction projects statewide.
The bill will be known as Public Act 192 of 2012.
"These investments allow higher education in Michigan to stay on the cutting-edge," Snyder said in a statement. "Our colleges and universities play a critical role in Michigan's future. I am pleased that we are able to support these worthwhile projects."
UM-Dearborn will also be chipping in $21 million of its own money for the renovations, as per the bill.
UM-Dearborn Director of Communications Ken Kettenbeil said the university is pleased with bill's passage.
“We feel great,” Kettenbeil said. “We're very appreciative of the governor and the Michigan legislature for awarding the capital outlay funds to our campus and to all of our peers.”
Kettenbeil said renovations to the building are going to affect students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics the most, but that is something that the university, students and the state agree on.
“It aligns very much with the state's objectives,” he said. “It's very much aligned with what our students are asking for.”
Kettenbeil said the science building was originally constructed in 1959 and that it is in need renovations. The first step of the process, he said, is to start moving classes outside of the building and into other locations around campus.
“This is going to be a lengthy process, but once it's done it's really going to be cutting edge,” he said. “It's going to offer our students a learning environment that I think they would expect at U of M.”
According to an analysis by the House Fiscal Agency, the renovations at the Dearborn university are expected to be completed in August 2015 and will include two elevators, general structural work and a "new mechanical penthouse."
Despite that fancy term, Kettenbeil said “penthouse” is merely a “sophisticated way of saying 'roof.'”
Other projects funded by the act will take place at Central Michigan University, Wayne State University, U of M's Ann Abor and Flint campuses, and numerous others.
The money given by the state is tied to the stipulation that the universities and community colleges will also partially fund whatever projects they plan to work on. Together, university and community college and state contributions will result in over $600 million worth of construction and renovation.