The University of Michigan-Dearborn will replace its nearly 60-year-old Engineering Laboratory Building with a new $90 million facility. The project was approved Thursday by the university’s Board of Regents.
The ELB, built in 1959, is one of four original buildings on the UM-Dearborn campus. The new facility will cover about 108,000 square feet and will serve as the campus’ primary engineering teaching and research facility.
The project is supported, in part, by funding through the state’s Capital Outlay Budget. Once construction is authorized by the state Legislature, the state will provide about $30 million in financial support. The balance of the funding will be provided by UM-Dearborn resources.
The building will include teaching labs designed to facilitate entrepreneurial problem solving, encourage multidisciplinary collaboration in the context of 21st-century engineering instruction and provide students with new collaboration and project spaces.
SmithGroupJJR will design the facility. The project is expected to generate an average of 71 on-site construction jobs.
A new ELB will enable UM-Dearborn’s College of Engineering and Computer Science to continue to respond to growing regional and national demand for engineering graduates.
UM-Dearborn’s engineering program has seen a 74 percent increase in enrollment since 2010. The college plans to double the number of CECS graduates by 2020.