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Wednesday, April 11, 2007
MICHIGAN STADIUM RENOVATIONS
A LOUDER BIG HOUSE?
NEW PATH: Sound escapes from box and reflects off opposite box onto field.
The proposed design for renovations to Michigan Stadium would include angled glass on luxury boxes that architects say would reflect crowd
noise back onto the field. The tilted windows would create two new paths for sound reflection. One architecture professor says this could cause the
crowd to sound twice as loud from the field.
GRAPHIC: ASHLEY DINGES
SOURCE: UNIVERSITY ARCHITECT DOUG HANNA
Would the proposed skyboxes make the Big House louder?
By NICK STREICHER stood just o
For the Daily readings oft
Despite having the largest seating between 77
capacity in the country, Michigan Sta- same noise
dium has a reputation as having one of Using con
the quietest crowds in the Big Ten. vation plan
University architects hope that the volume in tE
proposed renovations to the 80-year- range of 85
old structure will change that. the volume
The controversial $226-million proj- City subwa
ect includes skyboxes that will increase That mea
the stadium's volume by reflecting the almost twic
crowd's noise back onto the field like a Navvab
satellite dish. increased v
Crowd noise is a crucial part of a ception is pr
team's home field advantage. A loud to predict h
crowd can disrupt an opposing team's react.
offense ability to hear their quarter- The com
back's instructions on the field. geometry o
The University is working with tions about
Architecture Prof. Mojtaba Navvab - noise will
who was also a consultant on the acous- dium.
tics of Hill Auditorium - to evaluate In Nover
the acoustics of the renovation plans. of Regents a
During one game last fall, Navvab matic desig
Namesake of architecture school
spent 9.5 months in prison
By WALTER NOWINSKI
When former University student and shopping
mall magnate A. Alfred Taubman returned to Detroit
in 2003 after serving a 9.5 month prison sentence in a
federal facility in Rochester, Minn., he found Univer-
sity President Mary Sue Coleman at a welcome-home
party waiting to meet him.
Coleman, who had been appointed president of the
University by the Board of Regents only weeks before,
joined former Gov. James Blanchard and Detroit
Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at the Detroit Athletic Club
for the party, which was organized by friends and
supporters of the philanthropist and major Univer-
"I was invited to a lunch to meet him," Coleman
said. "It wasn't called a welcome-home-from-prison
But in his new autobiography, "Threshold Resis-
tance: The Extraordinary Career of a Luxury Retail-
ing Pioneer," which went on sale yesterday, Taubman
wrote that the party was an important part of his re-
entry into society after prison.
In 2001, Taubman, who then owned Sotheby's
auction house, was convicted in New York state of
colluding with rival Christie's to fix prices. He was
sentenced to one year in prison and fined $7 million.
Taubman's conviction drew calls to strip his name
from the University buildings and programs named
But the push was ultimately unsuccessful, and
See TAUBMAN, page 3A
ff the 50 yard line and took
the noise level.
d that the volume ranged
and 87 decibels - about the
level as a loud office.
rmputer models of the reno-
s, Navvab predicted that the
he stadium will increase to a
to 95 decibels - just under
of the inside of a New York
ns the stadiumwould sound
e as loud as it does now.
said that even with the
olume, much of sound per-
sychological, so it is difficult
ow the fans and players will
puter models are based the
f the stadium and assump-
where different levels of
come from within the sta-
mber, the University Board
approved preliminary sche-
ns, including skyboxes that
would run the length of the east and
west sides of the field. The skyboxes
will be 10 feet higher than the score-
boards at either end of the stadium.
The University Board of Regents
mustvote once more to approve detailed
schematic designs and grant construc-
tion approval before the proposed reno-
vations can begin.
Doug Hanna, a University architect
working cic the renovations, said iie
skyboxes will make the stadium louder
because the angle of the skyboxes will
reflect crowd noise back onto to the
John Pollack, who founded Save
the Big House, a coalition against the
proposed renovations, has developed
a counter-proposal that would add
10,000 seats to the bowl, something he
said would raise the noise level.
"You put 10,000 screaming fans into
the stadium that makes them louder
- guaranteed," Pollack said.
Hanna, though, said nothing in the
current stadium prevents the noise
from escaping the bowl, so cheering
louder would have little effect.
Hanna said the skyboxes will create
two new paths for sound to travel - one
from the fans in the bowl to the skyboxes
back down to the field and one from the
fans in the skyboxes to the skyboxes on
the other side andback down to the field.
Hanna said angling the skyboxes is
done primarily to reduce the glare from
the sun reflected onto the fieldbut could
also amplify the crowd noise.
The greater the angle, the more the
sound will bounce back, Hanna said.
In the most recent plans, the sky-
boxes will be tilted 9 degrees inward
toward the field. The angle is limited
by structural stability of the skybox and
the windows, which wouldn't open eas-
ily at a larger angle, Hanna said.
When Penn State University and
Ohio State University renovated their
stadiums earlier in the decade, the
schools did not put any special consid-
eration into the acoustics, officials from
both schools said.
Trip abroad heralded as sign of
increasingly global University
By GABE NELSON
Daily News Editor
University President Mary Sue Coleman plans to
spend two weeks in Africa in February 2008.
While there, she will visit universities to encourage
collaboration between University faculty and research-
ers and their African counterparts, she said. Coleman
also said she plans to use the trip to encourage students
to study in Africa, she said.
The trip will be Coleman's first major official inter-
national visit since June 2005, when she spent a week
in China. While visiting four colleges in Beijing and
Shanghai, she announced the creation of academic
and research partnerships between the University of
Michigan and four Chinese colleges.
The most prominent accomplishment of Coleman's
trip to China was the creation of a joint degree-grant-
ing program between the University of Michigan and
Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Engineering students
can now earn a joint degree from both universities in
the time it takes to earn a single degree by spending
some time living and studying on each campus.
Shanghai Jiao Tong gave Coleman an honorary
degree during her visit, which she displays promi-
nently on a shelf in her office in the Fleming Admin-
In recent years, American higher education offi-
cials have begun traveling abroad to court the lead-
ers of prominent foreign universities and try to set up
Special Counsel to the President Gary Krenz said
Coleman's trips to China and Africa are attempts to
make the University of Michigan a "global university."
The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, a pres-
tigious university in Mumbai, India, has welcomed doz-
ens of visitors from American colleges in recent years,
the Chronicle of Higher Education reported last month.
See COLEMAN, page 3A
Wisconsin-Green Bay coach
Borseth hired by Blue
By ANDY REID
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan basketball coaching shuffle is over. It
began with Michigan women's basketball coach Cheryl
Burnett's March 6 retirement. It ended Monday when
Kevin Borseth accepted the women's basketball head
coaching position, a week after John Beilein took the
Athletic Director Bill Martin
issued an official statement to
announce Borseth's hiring yester-
"We are excited about the future
of the Michigan women's basket-
ball program with Kevin as head
coach," Martin said in the state-
ment. "He knows how to teach BORSETH
and coach and he has the ability to
motivate student-athletes as players and people."
Borseth was the women's head coach at the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin at Green Bay for the past nine sea-
sons, compiling a 216-62 record, eight 20-win seasons
and nine first-place finishes in the conference.
The Bessemer, Mich. native is no stranger to post-
season play, either. Wisconsin-Green Bay played in a
postseason tournament every season under Borseth.
The Phoenix made seven NCAA Tournament appear-
See COACH, page 3A
Lt. Gen. Russel Honord speaks in the Michigan League yesterday about leading the military response to Hurricane Katrina.
Inside a city in crisis.
General who led Katrina relief "one of the largest migrations to affect our country
since the Civil War and was probably one of the most
tells tales from changing things to happen to our country since the
disaster aftermath He asked people to raise their hands if they have
at least three days worth of food in their homes, a
By ASHLEA SURLES quarter tank of gas in their cars or at least 30 days
Daily StaffReporter of their prescription medicine stocked in their cabi-
nets. When virtually all the hands in the room went
Dressed in full Army fatigues, Lt. Gen. Rus- up, he remarked that it "looks like a pretty educated
sel Honore told the inside story about the military crowd out there, or are y'all lyin'?"
response to Hurricane Katrina in the Henderson He went on to point out that there is a direct cor-
Room of the Michigan League yesterday. relationbetween people's economic means and their
Honora, the former commander of Joint Task level of preparation for disasters like Katrina.
Force Katrina, headed military relief efforts in New The majority of those in the Ninth Ward - one of
Orleans for the six weeks following the hurricane. the hardest hit areas - were poor. "Katrina revealed
He was brought to campus by the University chap- a level of poverty that most people didn't even know
ter of the Roosevelt Institute, a national student- existed," Honor6 said.
run think tank. Honore discussed the logistical problems that
"Katrina was one of the most devastating disas- exacerbated the situation on the ground. There was
ters to ever hit our country," Honore said in his no running water or even portable lavatories at the
thick Louisiana baritone. Superdome because they had to be ordered from
Honor6 said that the deadly storm resulted -in See GENERAL, page 3A
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