Building projects, audit report on tap for Thursday Board of Trustees meeting

Thursday could bring approval for a $7 million, 10,000-square-foot research laboratory for the College of Medicine and College of Health Professions.

The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees will discuss several proposed building projects to satisfy space needs on campus Thursday.

The proposed projects include the new laboratory for the College of Medicine, which will include eight stations and office space, an addition to Anspach Hall and renting buildings for faculty art space and the Central Center for Children, Families and Communities.

According to a university news release, the funding for the laboratory would be provided from provost fund reserves, cost recovery on grants and contracts and reserves for future construction.

Anspach Hall would get a $337,000 enhancement to the $14 million renovation project. If approved, there are plans to add a second floor to a planned one-story student lounge to the west side of the building. The enhancement would add 1,600 square feet for faculty office space to the already renovated hall. Funding will be coming from the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences reserves.

The board is looking to lease a studio space for faculty members who currently work at home or rent their own commercial space to work on their creative pieces for the university.  The lease will not exceed $56,000 a year and funds would come from the College of Communications and Fine Arts and the Provost's Office.

The trustees are also looking to approve the rental of a 3,000 square-foot facility near campus for the Central Center for Children, Families, and Communities program. The center's main goal is to reduce health issues among under-served residents. The cost of renting the space would not exceed $45,000 annually and would be funded by the Provost's Office, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

According to a university press release, more than $114 million has been invested into academic space in the past seven years and if all the projects are approved, that number will be rising.

Other key items on the agenda will include approving the university's goals for the upcoming year, a review of the university's independent audit report and establishing the tuition rate for the inaugural class for the College of Medicine.

About $276 million in unrestricted funds sat in university reserve accounts following a September 2011 audit report. CMU dipped into its reserve account to fund a $6.1 million shortfall for the 2012-13 budget.

The Board of Trustees will meet for its formal session at 3 p.m. Thursday in the President's Conference Room in the Bovee University Center. The meeting is open to the public.

Director of Public Relations Steve Smith declined comment.


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