Officials kick off
new chem. facility
The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 20, 1986-- Page 5
Regents name library addition
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By PHILIP I. LEVY
Top University administrators,
several regents, and local politicians
gathered Friday near a huge hole in
the ground to participate in a
"ground-breaking" ceremony for the
new Chemical Sciences Building.
The Central Campus structure,
slated to be completed in the fall of
1989, will cost $40 million. The
building will stand on the corner of
North University and East Uni-
versity streets and will double the
space currently available to the
THE NEW building is part of
a $52 million program to enhance
chemistry department facilities.
Other projects include renovation
of the old chemistry building and
building an $8 million chemistry-
University President Harold
Shapiro served as master of
ceremonies at what he called the
"very special occasion." After
recognizing all the campus
celebrities gathered in the tent near
the construction site, Shapiro
recalled that renovation of the
(Continued-froim Page 1)
faculty coming of retirement age."
KENNEDY said that in seven
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The bill marked the final step in
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The current amendment will
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The American Association of
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University's chemistry facilities
was his "number one priority"
when he took office in 1980.
But meeting that goal, he
continued, "was harder than I had
anticipated." Shapiro explained that
it is difficult to raise money from
private sources for "a basic research
facility. People felt that it was the
state's responsibility." The state is
committing $30 million to the
chemistry renovation project, and
the rest will come from private
gifts and University reallocation.
PETER STEINER, LSA
dean, told the audience that "we are
laying the groundwork for chem-
istry at Michigan for the next 40
years. We have begun to rebuild
both the building and the
Chemistry and physics are
generally viewed as two of the
college's weaker departments.
College administrators say the two
departments may have been under-
funded for up to 20 years. The
problem was intensified by
University budget cuts in the late
1970s and early 1980s.
To amend the problem, the
(Continued from Page 1)
insulating glass units.
BEFORE SERVING as
interim University president in
1979, Allan Smith served as vice-
president for academic affairs and as
dean of the Law School. His wife,
Alene Smith, "brought a kind of
warmth and commitment to the
University along with her sense of
dedication and service," Shapiro
Smith said of the naming, "The
Smiths are deeply honored by the
action of the regents. We now see
that it is possible to have an
architectural gem and a functional
allocation of space that our students
Architecture School Dean Robert
Metcalf calls the addition a
structural feat. "It is a prodigious
feat to build in a hole fifty feet deep
right next to an existing building
without putting a single crack into
the existing structure."
THE FACILITY was
designed by Gunnar Birkerts, the
Thomas Monaghan Architect-in-
Residence Professor at the
University. Metcalf described the
necessity of building the addition
underground. "There was a problem
of where to put it. They wanted the
addition to match the existing
buildings. However, the space was
not available and the cost would
have been fantastic," he said.
Birkerts said of the facility, "It's
a very logical and rational solution
to the problem. Obviously it has a
lot of imagination to it. It's not
just an underground basement."
Students who use the library
agree that the addition is valuable.
Law student Tim O'Connor said,
"The addition shows a heck of a lot
of alumni commitment. It makes
things much nicer and finding
things more convenient." Law
student Steve Cernak added, "It's
great. Much more space now exists
in which to study and store books.
The atmosphere for studying is
One unique aspect of the addition
is the large ditch which allows
sunlight to come into much of the
Susan North, a first year law
student, said, "The addition is
amazingly open for an underground
structure. You don't feel like you
are underground and the building
doesn't have to follow the existing
architecture. It can follow a new
Birkerts said, "The Smith Law
Library definitely has become a
learning place and a model for other
... breaks ground
University has allocated $500,000
to each department for faculty
appointments and staff support.
The Chemical Sciences Building
will have five levels, one below
ground and four above, and will
house 84 laboratories, classrooms,
and two lecture halls.
The building presently used for
chemistry teaching and research was
originally constructed in 1908 and
expanded in 1948.
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