The Oakland University department of engineering held its groundbreaking ceremony on Oct.3 for its new $75 million building. It is expected to be completed in Aug. 2014.
Students, faculty and staff members attended the event. Electronic calendar calculators were given to attendees as they walked in to take their seats.
$30 million going toward building costs is coming from the state, and $45 million is coming from OU through bonds that it’s attained.
He said the OU Board of Trustees provided crucial governance and guidance of the university.
“The growth and reach of our school looks remarkable and our future is very bright,” Chamra said.
Michael Kramer, Board of Trustees chairperson, said the ground breaking of this state-of-the-art building demonstrates how OU continues to build its brand by bringing together the best lines of resources.
“Our commitment to engineering, education and innovation allows us to offer our students a great educational experience,” Kramer said.
He also said he believes the School of Engineering has great potential for OU and the surrounding communities.
“Our school can and will be the catalyst for economic development in the region and the state of Michigan,” Kramer said.
University President Gary Russi said the university sent construction authorization to the governor in December 2010, and was then signed into the law.
“It will affect thousands of lives of students and members of this community for generations to come,” Russi said.
Susan Awbrey, interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, said she was honored to be a part of the ground breaking ceremony, not only because it’s “the beginning of a beautiful addition to the campus,” but also because of the educational opportunities that are to come.
According to Awbrey, the new building will recruit 37 modular laboratories, many of which will be viewable from public corridors.
“We hope to encourage curiosity and exploration,” Awbrey said.
The new building will include space to be dedicated for student orgs, showcases for student projects and facilities for collaborative work.
“I have to mention that the goal of this building is to achieve gold certification in natural leadership, energy and environmental design standards.
She said another goal of the building is to meet increasing needs for highly educated and knowledgeable engineers as well as computer scientists.
Kimberly Romstad, a senior engineering major, said she’s excited about the opportunities the building will bring to students both educational and extracurricular.
“I must admit that I’m bummed, this being my final year. I’ll never be able to experience this building as an undergraduate student,” Romstad said.
She said being a student made her realize how important it is to have an office and meeting space for events when involved in student orgs.
“There will almost be an entire wing dedicated to student orgs. This will only enhance the student’s experience at OU,” Ropmstad said. “The most exciting thing about the new Engineering building is its focus on students.”