Logistics, Transportation and Parking will build a new operations and maintenance facility on North Campus as part of a plan to operate more efficiently and sustainably.
The $39 million, approximately 70,000-square-foot building was approved Thursday by the Board of Regents. It will be located at the site of the University Laundry Building near Dean Road between Baxter and Hubbard roads, relocating from Kipke Drive on the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus.
The laundry building currently serves the inpatient and ambulatory patient care facilities at Michigan Medicine. It will be demolished after Michigan Medicine has a fully operational laundry service at an off-campus location.
The new operations and maintenance facility will accommodate current and future maintenance space needs, including the flexibility to handle larger, articulated buses, and infrastructure to charge electric vehicles. It also will house heavy-equipment maintenance operations that are currently in a separate building.
“Our goal is to have a safe and flexible operating facility that will help us get to our goals of improving mobility for campus and operating a greener fleet,” says Steve Dolen, executive director of Logistics, Transportation and Parking.
“The new location will save approximately $100,000 per year in operating expenses by reducing miles buses spend out of service to get onto established bus routes and improving operational efficiency.”
The new facility will meet current guidelines for vehicle maintenance facilities, including improved vehicle circulation and appropriate work zones for improved safety.
The university first brought forward plans for a new transportation facility in 2014 but put them on hold after hearing concerns from nearby residents. The plan for the transportation facility was reworked and university officials reached out to residents before bringing the new plan forward for approval.
Since the current building was constructed in 1974, the university’s bus fleet has grown by 45 percent and transports more than 7 million riders per year.
Funding for the project will be provided from Logistics, Transportation and Parking resources. The architectural firm of AECOM Great Lakes Inc., based in Grand Rapids, will design the project, which is expected to provide an average of 54 on-site construction jobs.
Design is scheduled to begin immediately and the university will return with a construction schedule with approval of a schematic design.