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This render shows what the H-STEM healthcare engineering and technology complex was planning for Michigan Tech University. Inauguration of the new facility scheduled for May. (Rendering provided by Michigan Tech University)

HOUGHTON – There hasn’t been a new building on the Michigan Tech University campus since the Great Lakes Research Center opened in 2012.

This should change in the years to come with two buildings under construction.

The campus H-STEM health engineering and technology complex building is slated to open for May, with a grand opening in January 2024. Tech also applied for a state fund this month. – here to finance the Center for Convergence and Innovation, which would house business and computer schools at a location yet to be determined.

The five-year investment plan submitted to the state this month includes $ 130 million for two phases of the CCI and $ 69 million for the second phase of the H-STEM building. The state would cover $ 60 million for CCI and $ 30 million for H-STEM, with the university taking the rest.

The first phase of the CCI should start in 2023 and end in 2026; the second phase is on the same schedule, but a year later.

The second phase of the H-STEM building is expected to start in 2027 and end next year.

Michigan could decide to approve the spending plan this summer, Huntoon said. After that, the university would begin to consider the design and review the utilities.

“I suspect that if we were to get permission to go ahead, it would take at least a year before we knew exactly where this is going to go.” she said.

Launched in 2019, the College of Computing grew out of the university’s Tech Forward initiative as a way to develop the university. The college was also founded with the idea that it could expand into other disciplines, said Jacqueline Huntoon, senior vice president and vice president of academic affairs at Michigan Technological University.

When the College of Computer Science was founded with the idea of “CS + X” deals, where a person’s major could take computer science into another discipline, Huntoon said. The college saw a 10% increase from fall 2020 to fall 2021 and is on the verge of doubling

She said the new building would help fully integrate IT into businesses.

“In a university like Michigan Tech, where we’re really charged with serving our state’s industries by preparing students to generate new knowledge, it’s becoming increasingly important to incorporate these IT aspects into business preparation. she said. “And so by working with the deans, it became clear that just like IT, business is now something that if we want to improve the industries in our state, we have to think all the time, and we have to think about how. science and engineering impact business and how business decisions can impact advancements in science and engineering.

Connections will be encouraged through reconfigurable spaces and themed shared digital lab facilities throughout the building. Additional features of the building will include converging centers of excellence (fintech, cybersecurity, data science and business analytics, health informatics and tech entrepreneurship), active learning, computer learning and business classrooms. distance learning, flexible collaboration spaces open to all, learning centers for students, free access conference rooms, a reconfigurable digital creation space, an entrepreneurship training room and large auditoriums, medium and small size, according to the demand of the spending plan.

The second phase of the CCI would include space for public-private partnerships. Part of that includes business incubators like MTEC SmartZone, Huntoon said. Companies could also get involved in corporate programs or work with professors on short or long term projects.

“So we’re really trying to contribute to economic development, both in this local area of ​​Houghton / Hancock, but also maybe to bring people from elsewhere in the state here to find out what we have to offer that could promote economic development and investment in this area in the future ”, she said.

The eventual location of the CCI is discussed as part of Tech’s master plan, which is being worked on over this school year. The President’s Council met with the main campus planning team this week to present concepts on how the campus might look in the future, Huntoon said.

“He could, for example, end up in the parking lot across the street, or he could end up near Walker in that parking lot or another location yet to be determined,” she said. “So we haven’t made a commitment to that yet, as we’re trying to let this whole process of main campus planning go ahead before we make a decision. “

The H-STEM building went through a design, followed by an iterative process to ensure the design was within the university’s budget, Huntoon said.

The first floor will have an open collaborative space where students can study or work with colleagues, Huntoon said. It can also be partitioned for lectures. The open space of the main foyer will stand out against Tech’s buildings, which mostly date from the mid-20th century, Huntoon said.

“Having open collaborative spaces was not common then, but it is very popular with students today” she said.

Rather than assigning a researcher to a lab, the labs will be designed for a specific purpose, which different faculty and students can use as needed, Huntoon said.

“We really hope it will be more economically efficient, because we can have people sharing equipment and resources, but also just a prospect of developing science and engineering, bringing people together who could see the problems from different angles should really help us. think about creative ways to solve these problems ”, she said.

The first classes at the H-STEM building are scheduled to take place in fall 2023, Huntoon said.

The second phase was postponed to host ITC, due to Tech’s willingness to strengthen IT-related disciplines, Huntoon said.

“We’re going to build Phase 1, and I’m sure we’re going to learn from this construction project and figure out what is working really well and what we would have liked to have done differently. “ said Huntoon.

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