Walking through campus you might have been noticing the bright orange cones, thick lines of tape and the melodious sounds of drilling and hammering. It’s construction season here at MSU, and it’s bee going on for awhile.
There are currently three large projects happening on campus. Reconstruction of the steam distribution in the West Circle Steam Loop, the Wells Hall Addition/ Morrill Hall replacement, and of course, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, which has become more commonly known on campus as “The Spaceship.”
West Circle Steam Loop
If you have classes around West Circle or along East Circle drive, you may have spotted the closed off sidewalks and construction workers carrying out the tough tasks of improving the steam distribution in the West Circle Steam Loop.
According to the MSU Physical Plant’s website, the steam tunnels are about 87 to 100 years old and have significantly deteriorated and require replacement or repair for a safer and more reliable operation. This will be a four-segment project, lasting from 2012 to 2015. During the construction the buildings in the construction area will be converted to a high-pressure steam and pressure-condensate return lines, which will improve energy efficiency.
So, if you are ever somewhere between Beal street and East Circle drive and happen to see a construction worker working out of a drain in the sidewalk, don’t be afraid to say hi and thank him or her for repairing our steam system!
Wells and Morrill Halls
On the north side of campus currently lies Morrill Hall, but not for long. Sadly, the over-100-year-old-building is reaching the end of its useful life, according to construction.msu.edu. It states that Morrill Hall has experienced irreparable deterioration, and because of this, will be taken down and replaced with an addition to Wells Hall.
The new Wells Hall addition will host the language department including English, Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages; Spanish and Portuguese; English Language Center; and French, Classics and Italian. Religious studies and African American studies will also relocate to Wells Hall. It is stated that the ultimate goal is to create a cohesive and vibrant community for students, faculty and staff.
Exciting additions to Wells hall also include a green roof on the one-story addition, a new and visible east-west entrance to Wells Hall, removal of on-street parking, creation of adjacent barrier-free parking and street realignment and widening.
Demolition to Morrill Hall, originally opened in 1900, will begin after the completion of the Wells Hall addition.
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
Last but not least, is ” The Spaceship”, or formally known as the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. Located on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Farm Lane, the building will be constructed of steel and concrete with pleated metal and glass exterior. It will be adjoined by an outdoor sculpture garden to the east and plaza to the west. Also there will be unique gallery spaces, an education wing, museum shop, visitor shop and gathering space.
Not only is this a very popular museum on campus, but it has also drawn a lot of controversy from students and staff. Kat Krukowski, a freshman pre-med student described the building as “out of place.”
“Its a cool building and definitely something worth adding to our campus, but it is such a modern-style building and it’s placed on the older side by most of our historical buildings so it just doesn’t seem to fit,” said Krukowski.
We conducted a poll to see what Michigan State students thought about the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. Of those that answered about 55% think that the museum is a great addition to our campus, while the other 44% think it is a waste of space.
A dedication ceremony has been set for Saturday, November 10. A live web cam is set to see the day-to-day construction via the construction website as well. With the opinions that have been expressed during construction of the museum,