Construction projects create state-of-the-art U

by Fabiana Torreao

For the past two years, the University has undergone tremendous construction and renovation work. From road work to new building constructions, the three-year plan will cost the University nearly $760 million.
“When these projects are completed, many faculty, staff and students will be able to work and study in new or renovated facilities,” University President Mark Yudof said in a 1998 letter to the University community posted on the Facilities Management Web site when construction began.
In order to construct 19 new buildings and renovate an additional 16, major departmental relocation was needed. An estimated 70 department and organizations were relocated, according to facilities management records.
Some organizations feel the relocation might have disadvantaged them.
The Minnesota Student Association, for example, moved from Coffman Memorial Union to the basement of the US Bank building. The relocation cost the association a loss in nearly 90 percent of their weekly student circulation.
While in Coffman, about 20 students would visit the association weekly. At their new location, an average of two students per week visited the association during the school year, said MSA’s Patrick Peterson.
Among the major constructions are the new McNamara Alumni Center, a $45 million building completed last February, and the Molecular and Cellular Biology building, the lengthiest project, which will be completed in the spring of 2002.
The renovation of Walter Library, which after completion will be called Digital Technology Center in Water Library, will transform the 1924 building into a state-of-the-art technology center.
Completed projects include the renovations of Amundson Hall, Ford Hall, Jackson Hall, Murphy Hall and the constructions of the McNamara Center and the Barbara Barker Center for Dance.

Fabiana Torreao welcomes comments at [email protected]