Regents approve renovation of Public Health buildings

February 17, 2000

ANN ARBOR—University of Michigan Regents, at their Feb. 17 meeting, approved a major renovation project for the School of Public Health buildings.

The School is comprised of two buildings: the Henry F. Vaughan Public Health Building (SPH I) built in 1942 and expanded in 1958 and the Thomas Francis Jr. Building (SPH II) constructed in 1971. The total gross square feet of the complex is 296,000.

“Within and across departments, researchers are tackling some of the world’s most critical public health issues,” noted U-M Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin. “The size of the faculty, staff and student population coupled with the School’s research program, has brought into focus the quantitative and qualitative shortcomings of the School’s physical facilities.

“Since SPH II was constructed, the student body has doubled and research has increased nearly threefold. Increasingly sophisticated technology and safety needs for laboratory research and teaching have levied requirements which are unable to be met in SPH I. Compounding the problem, SPH I has never been systematically upgraded. Consequently, the building infrastructure is outdated.

“Laboratory space is scattered throughout departments contributing to inefficient use of resources and the SPH complex lacks common space for faculty interaction; an important need in an increasingly interdisciplinary environment.

“As part of this project, we propose to address the infrastructure needs of SPH I, modernize laboratory space, review and reorganize the location of laboratories and departments, and provide for common space needs.”

The overall improvements are estimated to cost $40 million.

The U-M Regents authorized commissioning the firm of Centerbrook Architects and Planners from Centerbrook, Conn., working in association with HarleyEllis from Southfield, Mich., for the project’s design.

RegentsCenterbrook Architects and Planners