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May 15, 2003

Regents approve schematic design for School of Public Health buildings renovation

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The University of Michigan Board of Regents today (May 15) approved the schematic design for the renovation of and addition to the School of Public Health buildings.

The design, as proposed by Centerbrook Architects and Planners, will demolish the southerly east-west wing of the Henry F. Vaughan Building (SPH 1) and in its place construct a seven-story addition. The 125,000 square-foot addition will house modern laboratories, classrooms, interaction spaces, and community-focused research space. The remaining portion of SPH I subsequently will be fully restored for teaching, research, and administrative use.

"The project will address the remarkable growth in sponsored research that has doubled over the past five years at the School of Public Health," said Noreen Clark, dean of the school. "The school, consistently ranked as one of the nation's top schools, is at the forefront of national and international developments in public health. These renovations are vital to our continued growth and success."

Regents also granted approval to revise the project budget to $70 million in recognition of the newly emerging priorities for the role of public health in today's world and to provide needed laboratory space in the 60-year-old building. Project funding will be provided from private gifts, SPH resources and capital investment proceeds.

"U-M researchers are tackling some of the world's most critical public health issues," Clark said. "The Sschool is historically renowned for its work in vaccine development, environmental and health policy, and chronic disease issues that reflect the broad range of public health itself. The new facility will enable us to expand our work in these areas and to devote new resources to addressing the most pressing public health concerns of the day, from bioterrorism to AIDS, asthma, tobacco policy, socioeconomic disparities in health, genetics, and health insurance."

The addition includes a five-story connection that will bridge over Washington Heights to SPH 2 building. A new main entrance to the complex will be featured on the Washington Heights side of the complex.

The goals of the project are to advance the school's outward-reaching connections to local and regional communities, to foster communication and collaboration within the building, to provide teaching and laboratory spaces capable of meeting the needs of the future, and to ensure that the school remains at the forefront of technological developments. The building project is designed to encourage interdisciplinary research and partnerships, the foundation of public health as it is practiced at the School today, from bench science to community action. Construction is scheduled to begin later this summer and be completed in the fall of 2006.

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