Construction crews have resumed University of Michigan campus building projects that were in progress prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The work is allowed under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent executive order allowing construction businesses, real estate activity and other outdoor jobs to reopen as of May 7. Construction work across the state was halted March 24 under the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order.
In collaboration with the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, the university is working with state and local public health officials to closely follow state guidelines as construction has resumed on campus.
“We are working closely with our contractors to ensure each worker is protected from COVID-19 while on the job, and in turn they are protecting our community. We are all in this together,” said Hank Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations.
Under the executive order to allow resumption of construction, U-M will be required to follow state guidelines to protect workers and reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Designating a site supervisor to enforce COVID-19 control strategies.
- Conducting daily health screenings for workers.
- Creating dedicated entry points.
- Identifying high-risk areas — such as hallways, hoists and elevators, break areas, water stations and buses — and controlling them to enable social distancing.
- Ensuring sufficient hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations at the worksite.
Projects expected to resume on the Ann Arbor campus include the Ford Motor Co. Robotics Building, renovation and addition of the Edward Henry Kraus Building, expansion and renovation of the Dental W.K. Kellogg Institute Building and the new Dance Building.
Construction for the Central Campus Classroom Building and the Alexander G. Ruthven Building Renovation will also continue.
The Central Campus Classroom Building will provide more than 1,400 classroom seats for student instruction supporting the university’s evolving academic needs as more courses and instructors require large, modern, spacious and active-learning classrooms as social distancing remains in effect. The Ruthven Building Renovation will house the university’s central administration.
UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint have resumed construction or renovation projects on their respective campuses.
One exception is the new 12-story adult inpatient facility for Michigan Medicine, which will be paused in accordance with Michigan Medicine’s economic recovery plan. The project will be put on hold, although some limited work will take place over the next several months to ensure the construction site is safe for a prolonged delay.