Scientific Growth: Murchie Science Building Set to Expand

UM-Flint has been a staple in the community for a long time, and in the near future, the university will begin to see some major improvements. The Murchie Science Building (MSB) is almost 32 years old, and although there have been updates in the past for this building, the upcoming improvements are needed.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs are increasing, and that means more scientists and engineers are emerging. With this influx of creative minds transitioning into college, MSB needs more space and updated equipment to aid the learning process.

Ryan Craven, intermediate architect in building services and facilities at UM-Flint, answered a few questions regarding this development scheduled to start in November.

“We’re on schedule for the project, it should be constructed and done by winter 2020,” said Craven.

Right now, it is in the “DD phase,” according to Craven, which means that he and others are in the design and development stage of the project.

Craven has had a hand on the designs for White Building’s Information Desk, Riverfront’s Information Desk, and the University Tower Acquisition and Design/Utilities. He is also responsible for the current renovations to Jilly’s Pizza in the University Pavilion.

For these new developments to MSB, the loop drive over by the University Center and Recreational Center will be turned into a fire safe, easily accessible cul-de-sac. The addition is going to add up to 66,000 more square footage, so the students and faculty can be involved in the area more.

“The science-based upgrades will include a design studio that will have creativity for students to learn and develop from,” said Craven.

These advancements will change four of the general lecture rooms into something more modern, cleaner and comfortable, according to Craven. The new space will hold not only a design studio, but engineering labs that will hold robotics, wood shops, and an engineering design station. The station will utilize the newest programs and other various technological opportunities will be available for students’ use.

When asked about how much this project means to an architect like Craven, he showed me why he loves the job he has here at UM-Flint.

“I have a great deal of joy for this project and a passion for this profession. As a young architect, seeing a big project like this carries a lot of excitement and I can’t wait to see the finished product,” said Craven.

The question is, as we improve the scientific side of the academic spectrum, what else is going to be improved at UM-Flint?

“The university continuously evaluates assigned spaces for the academic units and student life alike based on current and future needs and utilization,” explained Craven. “As the academic and higher education worlds are always evolving, so is the need for creating new and modern spaces. The University Pavilion is currently facing general upgrades in the overall appearance and utilization in general, but focusing on the elimination of the escalators, which have been historically troubling to maintain.”