New Jamrich construction making headway

Cody Boyer

While students are busy attending their first classes of the fall semester, the construction of the New Jamrich Hall on Northern Michigan University continues in between Hedgcock and the Learning Resources Center.

New Jamrich Construction

Construction for the new building began on Monday, April 1 during the last winter academic semester, expanding into the Academic Mall and erecting the frame for walls. Jim Thams, NMU associate director of engineering and planning, said the building is slated for fall 2014.

“Right now, we are on track to hit our schedule,” Thams said. “The foundation is there, the floors have been poured in the first third of the building and they are now working on the second third. It has been a busy summer.”

The New Jamrich Hall, which is planned to provide 136,000 square feet of classroom, lecture hall and office space, will also house offices for the sociology and psychology, math and computer science, English, psychology, social work and anthropology departments on campus.

Thams said the operational costs of the new building and the space it will provide will help the university in a variety of ways.

“When we calculated the cost benefit of building a new building versus renovating, the projected savings was around $180,000,” Thams said. “It will meet our needs and won’t create a surplus of office space. There will be enough office space to house the entire staff.”

Thams also said the construction has bled into the Academic Mall due to the network of steam lines underneath the campus, which are connected to many buildings on campus.

“The last utility that is flowing in the ground right now and is nearly complete is the steam line, which will provide heat to the building,” Thams said. “The steam lines essentially run all over campus and run to every building. They head over near the tunnel that connects the LRC and West Science and we needed to tap into those lines to get the steam to the new building. ”

Kathy Richards, NMU associate vice-president of engineering and planning, said the construction of the new facility on campus will bring many good changes to the campus once it is done.

“The new Jamrich will effect significant changes on campus upon its completion,” she said. “Its completion will begin a whole new era for NMU.”

According to Richards, criminal justice, English and sociology will move from Gries Hall into the New Jamrich Hall. Math will be moving from New Science to the New Jamrich, and military science will move to Hedgcock.

“Once Jamrich and Gries Hall are razed, the area will be returned to green space,” she said. “The project schedule is very aggressive, but the construction manager, Miron Construction, is doing a great job keeping the project on track.”

According to Thames, the construction will continue following the completion of the outer walls, which is to be completed before the first snowfall.

“We are on time and on budget: those are always two very important points,” Thams said.