Renovations planned for Jamrich

Scott Viau

NMU is requesting funding from the state for renovations and an addition to Jamrich Hall. The Board of Trustees will vote on the proposal this week, which will then be sent to the State Building Authority for approval.

Associate Vice President of Engineering and Planning Kathy Richards said the renovations will include changes to the electrical and cooling systems, as well as construction of a 36,000 square foot addition to Jamrich. The addition will take the place of the offices currently held in Gries Hall, which will then be torn down. There are no current plans to build anything in its place.

In keeping with NMU’s desire to remain a green campus, the renovations to Jamrich will help in having the building LEED certified.

“With all of our capital projects we do incorporate sustainable building designs,” Richards said. “We will be designing to the LEED green building certification.”

NMU is currently seeking state funding for renovations to Jamrich Hall. The renovations will include a 36,000 square foot addition that will include faculty offices. Plans are also underway to make the hall LEED certified. // Paul Goodrich/NW

Richards said that the plan as of now is not very detailed.

“As far as what walls will move or be built, we don’t have that exactly nailed down yet. It’s really just a broad concept right now,” Richards said.

Requests for funding need to be submitted to the state by Dec. 3. Richards said the state will then review and evaluate all of the requests it receives.

“The state … balances them against other competing capital outlay and statewide budget priorities,” Richards said. “There is no set time schedule for the award process.”

Richards added that they are trying to have everything in place if and when the funding does come through.

“We’re just trying to make sure that we’re ready to roll with the project and be able to complete the design as quickly as possible once we get notice that we’ve received funding from the state,” Richards said.

The last time NMU received funding was in 2005 for Hedgcock, Thomas Fine Arts and Art and Design. Richards hopes that funding is received but does not know how likely NMU is to receive it.

Director of Communications and Marketing Cindy Paavola said that over the years a building’s mechanical systems need to be updated, which is the cause for renovations within Jamrich.

“When Jamrich was built there were fewer pieces of equipment used in a classroom that required electrical power,” Paavola said. “Today there exist more efficient types of heating, cooling, air circulation, electrical and lighting systems.”

Paavola added that over time these changes will result in cost savings to both the university and the students, in addition to a better running facility.

“Facilities that are more environmentally friendly is also one of the university’s Road Map to 2015 goal, a goal students have told us is very important to them,” Paavola said.