Regents approve updated building plan for College of Pharmacy

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After a pandemic-related delay, the University of Michigan is moving forward with plans to build a new teaching and research facility for the College of Pharmacy.

The board approved the schematic design and a revised budget for the project on October 20. The council also authorized the start of construction.

The 142,000 square foot building will meet the college’s need for larger, more modern space, with active learning style classrooms, labs, associated support spaces, faculty and administrative offices and student-oriented areas. It will be built at the corner of Glen Avenue and East Huron Street.

UM is moving forward with plans to build a new teaching and research center for the College of Pharmacy at the corner of Glen Avenue and East Huron Street. (Drawing courtesy of Architecture, Engineering and Construction)

The Regents first approved the project and appointed RDG Planning and Design as architect in May 2019. The design process was halted in early 2020 due to financial restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic .

The approximately two-year delay increased the project’s estimated cost from $121 million to $141 million. The current plan is also larger than the original, which called for a 130,000 square foot building.

Funding for the project will come from reserves and donations.

There will be an increase in demand of approximately 30 parking spaces mainly due to the loss of 24 spaces at the new construction site.

The current College of Pharmacy building on Church Street is outdated and too small, Geoff Chatas, executive vice president and chief financial officer, wrote in a request to the regents for approval of the project.

The new building will include active learning style classrooms, laboratories, associated support spaces, faculty and administrative offices, and student-focused areas.
The new building will include active learning style classrooms, laboratories, associated support spaces, faculty and administrative offices, and student-focused areas. (Drawing courtesy of Architecture, Engineering and Construction)

The building was constructed in 1960, with a major addition constructed in 1992. Chatas said that due to its narrow structural bays and shallow floor-to-floor heights, it cannot be reconfigured to include meeting rooms. classroom and modern laboratories.

Currently, the College of Pharmacy’s teaching, research, and office space is spread across seven locations on campus.

The project is expected to create an average of 116 construction jobs on site. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2025.

The existing college building could eventually be used by LSA’s chemistry department. Last year, UM applied to the State of Michigan for funding that would help with a renovation.

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