WMU News

WMU moving forward on new chemistry building

Sept. 18, 2004

KALAMAZOO--The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees, acting during its Sept. 17 meeting, gave the University administration a green light to continue moving toward construction of a new $28.5 million chemistry building.

In June, the board authorized a fast track approach to planning the instructional laboratory facility, because of the extreme need for such a building to replace the aging McCracken Hall as a site for student instruction. They set the Sept. 17 meeting as a time to review detailed plans for the proposed building.

The plans presented to the board by representatives from architectural firm Holabird & Root and the construction management firm Miller-Davis Co., included a detailed floor plan for the 83,300-square-foot building as well as a timeline that calls for construction to begin in spring 2005 and an occupancy date of August 2006.

As outlined in the preliminary plans laid out in June, the building will be attached to Wood Hall and bordered on two sides by Waldo Library and the Dalton Center. The facility, which will be used only for student instruction, includes three large auditoriums that can be used both for chemistry and general education purposes, as well as smaller classrooms, instructional labs and spaces dedicated for use by student groups. No faculty offices will be part of the new facility, but will be easily accessed through the connector to Wood Hall where chemistry faculty have their offices. To preserve campus green space around the building site, a tunnel will connect the new building to the Dalton Center, providing access for shipping and utility maintenance.

A detailed funding plan for the new building will be presented to the board closer to the start of construction.

Media contact: Matt Kurz, 269 387-8400, matt.kurz@wmich.edu

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