Regents Approve Updated College of Pharmacy Building Plan
By Ann Zaniewski
After a pandemic-related delay, the University of Michigan is moving forward with plans to construct a new teaching and research facility for the College of Pharmacy.
The Board of Regents approved the schematic design and a revised budget for the project Oct. 20. The board also authorized construction to begin.
The 142,000-square-foot building will address the college’s need for a larger and more modern space, with active-learning-style classrooms, laboratories, associated support spaces, faculty and administrative offices, and student-focused areas. It will be built at the corner of Glen Avenue and East Huron Street.
The regents first approved the project and appointed RDG Planning and Design as the architect in May 2019. The design process was paused in early 2020 due to financial restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The roughly two-year delay increased the estimated project cost from $121 million to $141 million. The current plan also is larger than the original, which called for a building of 130,000 square feet.
Funding for the project will come from reserves and gifts.
There will be an increased demand of approximately 30 parking spaces due primarily to the loss of 24 spaces at the new building site.
The College of Pharmacy’s current building on Church Street is outdated and too small, wrote Geoff Chatas, executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a request to regents for project approval.
The building was constructed in 1960, with a major addition built in 1992. Chatas said because of its narrow structural bays and shallow floor-to-floor heights, it cannot be reconfigured to include modern classrooms and laboratories.
Currently, the College of Pharmacy’s teaching, research and office spaces are distributed across seven locations on campus.
The project is expected to provide an average of 116 on-site construction jobs. Construction is scheduled to be completed in fall 2025.
The college’s existing building could eventually be used by LSA’s Department of Chemistry. Last year, U-M submitted a request to the state of Michigan for funding that would assist with a renovation.