PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: Jan. 15, 2004
'Science is done here' is the message of a new building planned at UM-Dearborn to enhance programs in natural sciences and science education
DEARBORN--Science students and students planning to become K-12 science
teachers will benefit from a new $9.6 million building to be built at
the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The design of the building was approved
by the U-M Regents at their meeting in Ann Arbor on Jan. 15.
The project, which will include 15,000 net square feet, is due to begin
this fall and be completed in 2006. Cost of the project is $9.6 million,
with 75 percent of the funding coming from the state of Michigan. The
campus will fund the remaining 25 percent.
"The main public entrance to the building, set off with an observatory
on the roof and a glass-enclosed display and gathering area on the main
floor, is designed to communicate the fact that 'science is done here',"
Zitzewitz said. "The labs, classrooms and other spaces all are designed
to help our students prepare to enter graduate or professional schools
or into businesses or industries that need employees skilled in modern
laboratory techniques in the natural sciences."
National studies have shown that science programs that sustain student
interest are those that generate a "learning community" including
students and faculty members, Zitzewitz said. "The design of this
building will serve to enhance our learning community in many ways, by
allowing students to experience meaningful investigations in a community
where faculty are committed to seeing students as partners in learning."
Among other features, the building includes a lecture hall that will
encourage group work, labs that allow students to work with each other
and with faculty members on projects, and support spaces providing scientific
instrumentation that can be used in several different disciplines.
One of the most distinctive features of the new building will be an astronomical
observatory including a 16-inch telescope, along with four other stations
to mount telescopes on a third-floor deck of the building. The campus
has received a $144,000 grant from the National
Science Foundation to support the purchase of the main telescope.
In addition to its use in astronomy classes, the telescope will help
advanced students work on independent projects that may lead to publishable
data, according to Donald Bord, professor of physics at UM-Dearborn. The
observatory area can be isolated from the rest of the building for community
programs, including sky-watching nights, and is completely accessible.
The new building, which was designed by the architectural firm The Stubbins Associates, will be located just west of the campus's current Science Building.
*Renderings provided by UM-Dearborn Facilities Planning Department
and TSA Architects.
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