Collaborative tech facility to be built on Flint campus

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A new, innovative academic laboratory space that promotes technology, flexibility and collaboration is coming to the UM-Flint campus.

The Board of Regents approved the $10 million project Dec. 8.

The 15,000-square-foot building will be located north of the William S. White Building on the north end of the Flint campus, and will serve as a home base for the UM-Flint College of Innovation and Technology.

CIT launched in fall 2021 with 24 students enrolled in the first semester pursuing degrees in digital manufacturing technology, and information technology and informatics.

Enrollment more than doubled this fall with additional programs in cybersecurity, and sustainability and energy technology. Programs in software engineering, health-care technologies, and data science are planned to roll out in fall 2023.

Funding will be provided by grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and Mott Foundation, and UM-Flint gifts and resources.

A second phase of the building project was submitted for future funding through the state of Michigan’s capital outlay process in the amount of $40 million.

Once completed, the new building will have state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms, offices and areas to encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary research.

“The new facility will have spaces designed for learning and creativity that are necessary for the future workforce of the state and region,” said Chancellor Deba Dutta when the project received grant funding in October 2021.

“UM-Flint takes pride in its mission as a regional public university, and as such, this building will serve as a nexus for technology, education and industry partnership, where community members and businesses are encouraged to be active participants in the innovation ecosystem.”

Design work for the project is scheduled to begin immediately and will return to the Board of Regents for consideration of schematic designs and the construction schedule. The project is expected to provide an average of 16 on-site construction jobs.

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