Construction Awareness Day updates students on campus projects

The final project for the Journalism 200 class was to cover a story live. This is the result of that 1.5-hour reporting effort.

Photos of Construction Day

Captain Construction was king of Construction Day. (Photo by Dana Casadei/Journalism 200 student)

By Zane McMillin
and JRN 200

The first ever Construction Awareness Day at Michigan State University kicked off Tuesday morning with the intent of highlighting a number of current and forthcoming multimillion-dollar campus construction projects.

Facilitated by the MSU Physical Plant, the event took place at The Rock on Farm Lane, across from Bessey Hall and next to the Auditorium. More than 300 people had shown up at the event by 11 a.m., two hours after it began. It was scheduled to conclude at 1 p.m.

“It tells students what’s going on with construction on campus,” said Will Whelton, a communication editor at the Physical Plant. “There’s a number of projects going on, especially now in the spring and summer.”

The monetary value attached to each project also is a significant part of the event, as students might be concerned about how and where the university is spending money, communication senior Kallie McConkie said.

“We trying to show students there are construction resources on campus,” Kallie McConkie said. “It’s pretty important because students are concerned about budget cuts and we can show them where the money goes.”

Among the more noteworthy projects up for discussion at Construction Awareness Day is the planned demolition of Morrill Hall, a 100-plus-year-old building that currently houses the university’s English and History departments.

Located on the northeast stretch of West Circle Drive, demolition of the building will be proposed to the MSU Board of Trustees at its June 18 meeting, said Karen Zelt, communication manager for the Physical Plant.

One proposal for relocating the departments within Morrill is to build onto the B-wing of Wells Hall. Construction on the latter is expected to begin in September and be completed by 2012.

All proposals for the project are estimated to ring up at $36 million in total.

Physical Plant officials said classroom space in Wells will be out of commission during construction, although the university believes it can accommodate classroom space elsewhere on campus.

Another more recent project open for discussion is the $45-million Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. Named after the billionaire alumnus who, along with his wife, has donated $28 million for the museum, construction on the museum began after a ground breaking ceremony was held March 16.

Construction on the museum, designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid, will be completed by 2012.

Two of the major projects

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

According to Will Whelton, communication editor at the Physical Plant, the art museum should raise awareness of various art and culture for the students.
Where: Corner of Grand River Avenue and Farm Lane
How much: Approximately $45 million
How big: 46,000 square feet with three levels
When: Expected to be fully complete in Dec. 2013 and will be mostly complete April 2012

Morrill Hall
Morrill Hall, which houses the English and history departments, will be demolished in 2013.
Where: North of intersection of West Circle and East Circle
How much: $36 million
What’s next: The English and history departments will be moved to Wells Hall this September

For more information, contact

Information for stories and sidebar boxes reported by Craig Ebinger, Lindsay Nowak, Lauren Mckown and Patrice Hendrix. Compiled and edited by Annie Perry, Zane McMillin and Laura Riess.

Photo Galleries
Photo slideshow from the day

Another slideshow

Class photo with Captain Construction

The on-scene reporters take a minute out from their hard work to pose for a picture with Captain Construciton.

By Dana Casadei, Brittany McCallum and Sam Schmitt


By Nicholas Bryant, Allen Martin, Mo Hnatiuk, Taylor Benson and Sam Schmitt

Google Map

By Samantha Scheltema and Ansley Prior

Additional reports

Tweets from the scene
Construction Junction: What’s going on around campus?
Related Links & Additional Information

About this package

Stories, photos, video, maps and content for this package were written, edited and produced by the students in Journalism 200. The students were Lindsay Nowak, Ansley Prior, Patrice Hendrix, Craig Ebinger, Zane McMillan, Lauren Mckown, Brittany McCallum, Samantha Scheltema, Nicholas Bryant, Allen Martin, Laura Riess, Sam Schmitt, Taylor Benson, Annie Perry, Mo Hnatiuk and Dana Casadei.


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