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Aug. 31, 2018

Construction begins on one-of-a-kind campus building

Embracing the future of teaching and learning, Michigan State University has officially broken ground on the new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility. During the groundbreaking ceremony, MSU Interim President John Engler was joined by faculty, students and staff representing STEM-related colleges as well as members of the Michigan Legislature who supported funding for the project.

“Our faculty and academic staff are developing new, more effective ways to teach the STEM disciplines,” Engler said. “Just as university founders built the nation’s first laboratory building devoted to teaching scientific agriculture, we are also providing our undergraduate students and faculty with cutting-edge facilities designed to support their success.”

When completed in the fall of 2020, the 117,000-square-foot building will house 21st century classrooms and laboratory spaces that will support gateway courses for biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, physics and engineering.

“Sometimes we forget how many students take STEM-related classes but may not necessarily go into an aligned major. This building is designed for those introductory classes that allow ways to teach and learn differently,” said MSU Provost June Pierce Youatt. “The spaces will not look like the science laboratories of days gone by.”

The central structure of the new building is the former Shaw Lane Power Plant. The project renovations will keep as much of the old building as possible to provide student studio space and a vibrant commons area with a café, as well as a new home for MSU’s HUB for Innovation in Learning and Technology.

The Michigan Legislature provided $29.9 million toward the total estimated project cost of $72.5 million. This is the first time that the construction of an MSU classroom building has received state funding in nearly 50 years. Built in 1969, Wells Hall was the last MSU building constructed with exclusive classroom space and funded with state dollars.

Planning for the project involved cross-disciplinary representation from:

  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
  • College of Engineering,
  • Infrastructure Planning and Facilities
  • Lyman Briggs College,
  • Office of Planning and Budgets and
  • College of Natural Science.

Also helping the university deliver this vision are:

  • Ellenzweig Architecture,
  • IDEO Design,
  • IDS,
  • Granger Construction Co. and
  • Sasaki Design.