New OU engineering building to open in 2014

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published October 10, 2012

ROCHESTER HILLS — Oakland University officials recently broke ground on a new 127,000-square-foot building that will house Oakland’s School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The building is scheduled for completion and opening in August 2014.

“This building will enable us to recruit and educate the very best students and faculty,” said School of Engineering and Computer Science Dean Louay Chamra at the Oct. 3 groundbreaking. “Oakland University is a hub for engineering, research and discovery.

The new engineering center will hold instructional, research and development space designed to foster student learning and creativity to boost competitiveness in the alternative energy, health care, biomedical, automotive, defense and other high-tech industries.

The building, which will be located in the center of campus, near the Kresge Library, will include 37 modular laboratories. A rooftop space will encourage research in green technologies, officials said. Currently, the OU School of Engineering and Computer Science is scattered throughout three campus buildings.

“The No. 1 priority of this building is the students,” Chamra said.

Funding for the $74.6 million engineering center is provided from the state via a capital outlay appropriation, along with private support and bond proceeds, said Ted Montgomery, OU media relations director.

This fall, Oakland University saw a 20 percent jump in undergraduate enrollment and an 18 percent jump in graduate student enrollment in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, said university officials.

In September, OU’s new Human Health building opened with a goal of providing jobs and eliminating a health care shortage. “We are celebrating growth,” OU President Gary Russi said.

The new 172,000-square foot Human Health building, at the corner of Walton Boulevard and Squirrel Road, holds OU’s School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences. The $64.4 million facility features state-of-the-art classrooms, seminar rooms, an interactive media center, physical therapy clinics and clinical, computer, simulation and distance learning labs.

“Oakland University continues to build on its strengths,” Chamra said.