Big Blue is about to become a little bigger and a little greener, as if either one of those things were possible. The University of Michigan Board of Regents are planning to review a proposed addition to its Law School and hear its annual green initiative report tonight.The proposed $102-million Law School addition calls for building a new 100,000 square foot building at the corner of Monroe and State streets across Monroe from the landmark Law Quad. Renovations would also be done to Hutchins Hall the Cook Legal Research Building to create a 16,000-square-foot new student commons.
The Law School's student body has more than doubled and its faculty quadrupled since the Law Quad was originally built. The new building will replace a surface parking lot. A construction schedule has not been established for the project, if it is approved tonight.
The Board of Regents will also hear its first of what is planned to be an annual report on the University's efforts to become more environmentally friendly through energy conservation efforts and purchasing more power from green sources.
The six-point, campus-wide initiative calls for, among other things, improving the energy consumption of the university's facilities by creating "Wolverine Teams." Those teams will be composed of operations and facilities management staff and the occupants of the buildings.
The pilot phase of this initiative has targeted five university buildings of varying degrees of age with the goal of making them greener. Those buildings include: The Institute for Social Research, Chemistry, Space Research, Rackham and Fleming.
Beginning this fall each team began working with building occupants to find the best methods for making them more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. If the pilot program proves successful, officials plan to expand it to include all of the university's facilities within the next few years.
Source: Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the University of Michigan
Writer: Jon Zemke