Murchie Science Building Expansion Begins Planning Interior Space


Santiago Ochoa

Though the COVID-19 Pandemic has slowed construction, the MSB extesion has reached a point where the university is starting to make decisions on interior design.

Bella Biafore, Writer

With construction of the Murchie expansion nearing it’s half-way point, UM-Flint has begun considering the building’s interior design.

Coming in at a $39 million budget, which includes site preparation, securing architects, actual construction and interior furnishings, the expansion will include a multitude of spaces and equipment that UM-Flint is currently in need of. 

The first floor will include a slew of engineering instructional labs, such as a design lab, a thermo-systems lab, an outdoor lab and a dynamics vibration lab. This floor will also include an administrative hub and two lobby spaces.  

The hubs will be home to UM-Flint’s College of Arts and Sciences, which have four other office locations on campus, including two in French Hall (220 FH, 326 FH) as well as two in Murchie Science Building (212 MSB, 264 MSB). 

Up the stairs to the second floor of the expansion, more engineering labs will be included. These labs will focus on fluids, solid mechanics and materials, as well as robotics and mechatronics. 

Different from the Harrison Street Annex where several labs have to share one space, the expansion provides room for every lab to have their own dedicated spot within the building. 

These labs have also been designed as a lecture/lab arrangement, making it easier for both aspects of the course to occur in the same space.

The machine shop will also be relocating from the Harrison Annex over to the expansion. 

Also included on the second floor will be additional work spaces for students and faculty to reserve as workrooms, meeting spaces or whatever desired. A device such as an iPad will be located outside the room for individuals to reserve the space on the fly. 

The third floor will feature multiple faculty offices as well as four large classrooms. This area will also include a learning commons with seating and study tables for students to utilize when collaborating on projects or just studying solo. These spaces will mimic the study lobbies already existing in MSB. 

Furniture throughout the building will be modular, making it so that each room can be transformed into a new kind of learning environment if necessary. 

The fourth and final floor of the building is set to have a range of rooms dedicated to different groups on campus. There will be a club hub, intended to be used as storage for clubs to put their supplies, a faculty hub, multiple research labs, a general science instructional lab and a Genesee Early College instructional lab. 

The faculty hub will be a multi-purpose space, which will permit larger departments like Biology to hold meetings that are sufficient enough in size for everyone to sit comfortably. It could also be used as a workspace for faculty when participating on projects together. 

Also included on the fourth floor will be a learning commons and additional faculty offices. The idea behind this layout is so students will be in close proximity to faculty, providing a space for collaboration. 

Beyond furniture and overall layout for these four floors, UM-Flint faculty members are also in the process of getting the necessary equipment to go inside the building. Much of this equipment will be added to the already existing equipment that resides in MSB currently. 

While much of the furniture and equipment is still waiting on finalization or in the process of being ordered, the MSB expansion is taking big steps in the direction of completion.