Michigan Tech News

Board of Trustees Finalizes Capital Outlay Request

Last Modified 3:01 PM on Mon Jun 15, 2015

October 4, 2007—

The second phase of the Center for Integrated Learning and Information Technology tops Michigan Technological University's 2009 Capital Outlay Budget Request.

The wish list will be submitted to the state for consideration. As capital outlay funds become available, they are allocated by the state in part to support major construction projects at the 15 public universities.

Michigan Tech's plan, which the Board of Trustees approved Thursday, Oct. 4, completes the work that began with the construction of Rekhi Hall and the Opie Library in 2004–05. The new $59-million project would involve further renovation of Fisher Hall (adjacent to Rekhi Hall) and construction of bridges connecting those structures to the Memorial Union and to the Wadworth residence hall, located across U.S. 41.

The renovated and new space would provide 24 classrooms, 14 classroom labs, 25 research labs, 120 offices for faculty and staff, and 44 graduate student offices.

The University is asking for $44.5 million from the state and expects to provide the remaining $14.5 million through gifts from private sources.

The Departments of Mathematical Sciences and Physics will be among the major beneficiaries. Ravindra Pandey, who chairs the physics department, says the improvements are sorely needed.

"We've been in one of the oldest buildings on campus, and this year alone we have received over $2 million in research funding," he said. "Our faculty and students truly need new research laboratories and instructional space for laboratory classes.

"While we are doing wonderful work with state-of-the-art equipment, we are getting by with old facilities; it's critical that a university that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) provide the best possible space for research and education."

Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz agreed. "The governor and the legislature understand the importance of STEM education and research to the future of Michigan's economy," he said. "Of all universities in Michigan, we graduate the highest percentage of students in these fields. Plus, as one of the state's top research universities, it's vital that we provide the proper lab and classroom facilities for our faculty and students."

Also in the list is a new $35-million building for the School of Business and Economics; a new Great Lakes Research Center; and renovation and expansion of Dillman Hall and a new Manufacturing Center.

In other business, Les Cook, vice president for student affairs, reported that 1,450 new freshmen and transfer students had enrolled this fall, up 63 from 2006. The average ACT composite score for incoming freshmen has also increased from 25.3 to 25.6, and retention among freshmen has risen from 80.7 percent to 82.7 percent. Total University enrollment is 6,738, up 194 from last year.

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.