Skip navigation

Construction of CMU’s new $95 million Biosciences Building hits halfway mark

Panels, windows installed on exterior, interior construction continues

Contact: Heather Smith

​​​​​Nearly 900 cement trucks have delivered approximately 8,800 cubic yards of concrete in 365 days. This is just one milestone reached that marks this week's one-year anniversary since construction began on Central Michigan University's new $95 million Biosciences Building.

The building — held together with 15,000 steel framing studs, which is equivalent to about 38.8 miles — now stands four stories tall. Energy efficient windows and 2,268 terracotta panels — each weighing nearly 140 pounds that altogether total approximately 150 tons — are being installed, and construction on the building's interior has begun. 

The basics behind Biosciences

Andrew Reihl, CMU construction project manager overseeing the 169,000-square-foot Biosciences Building, the largest capital project in CMU's 120-plus year history, said there are numerous work activities involved in a building of this size. Clark Construction Co. is the construction manager and has regular planning meetings to review the building's construction progress.

"Each building detail is written on a sticky note and placed on a large calendar." Reihl said. "By the time the Biosciences Building is complete, more than 5,800 sticky notes will have been used, which is enough to cover the CMU football scoreboard."


The interior construction of the building is well underway and includes a multipurpose auditorium, active learning classroom, informal meeting spaces, and an open floor plan that allows for adaptability, shared resources and a level of collaborative learning beyond what currently exists at CMU.

Located on the south end of campus in between the Engineering and Technology Building and the Education and Human Services Building, the Biosciences Building will be a student learning, research, high-tech academic center that will meet the needs of students and faculty. It will address escalating student demand and dramatically improve the quality and quantity of instructional learning and scientific research space. 

"Nearly 920 CMU students now major in the biosciences compared to 450 in 2009, and more than 7,500 students a year take biology classes," CMU President George E. Ross said.

Over the last decade, tenure-track biology faculty has increased 71 percent and external grant funding increased more than tenfold. The building will house 40 research-active faculty members and provide space for classrooms and laboratories.

Opportunities for collaborative research in the Biosciences Building also will allow the university to continue to establish itself as a leader in human and environmental health.

Specialty research facilities will include:

  • An equipment storage, staging and sample-processing storage area for ecological fieldwork;
  • Biosafety Level 3 laboratory to research infectious diseases;
  • Isotope laboratory;
  • Imaging center for scanning and transmission electron microscopes;
  • Herbarium; and
  • Vivarium to replicate aquatic conditions for research.

The Biosciences Building will be at least LEED Silver Certified, balancing the safety needs of a modern science building with energy efficiency.

Central Michigan University's Board of Trustees approved the construction of the new building in April 2013. The State of Michigan allocated $30 million for the building project, and the remaining funds are coming from CMU internal reserves, contributions and proceeds from the issuance of bonds.

Stantec Inc., the lead architectural firm that created CMU's education building, also designed the Biosciences Building. Construction is scheduled for completion in September 2016, and students will be able to start taking classes in the new building in January 2017. ​

Photo Associator

Article Photo Title

Photo Title required.

Photo for News Home

Select File
Use This One

Photo for News Feeds

Select File
Use This One