Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Law School Building Project > Construction Updates

Construction Updates

May 29, 2014
We are teed up to begin the summer projects around the Law School; this is the latest information about our big three.

Reading Room Windows
Scaffolding work begins Monday, June 2, on the exterior southeast corner of the building. Entry to the building from the ramp will be maintained. The assembling of the interior scaffolding will begin on Wednesday, June 4. As part of this project, the three large windows on the south side of the Reading Room will be removed and sent to Conrad Schmitt Studios in Wisconsin for restoration and returned and re-installed in the fall. In the interim, the windows will be covered with plywood, so I anticipate a decrease in the number of wedding photos being taken on that side of the building this summer. It may be a bit noisy during the removal process, but since this is our first time removing the windows, we don’t have a sense yet of how loud it may be.

Conrad Schmitt has done some beautiful restoration work; those who are interested may view their online portfolio.

Legal Research Attic
The spraying of insulation begins on Tuesday, June 3, which means that the corridor will not be accessible again until Friday, June 13. The bridge connecting Legal Research to Hutchins Hall will be blocked off; if you normally use the bridge, you will need to find an alternative route. The contractor is taking every precaution to properly ventilate the area during the spraying process, and we do not anticipate there being any fumes in the building. Lois Harden will be monitoring the process.

Hutchins Hall Elevator
Once the bridge is reopened, the elevator in Hutchins Hall will be taken offline for approximately two weeks for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades. New control panels will be installed to make the elevator more accessible for wheelchair users.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

May 6, 2014
We're nearing the end...just days to go until we have 75-degree, sunny, perfect days and everyone can breathe easy with the quiet and slow pace of summer…right? And the steam is being turned off for the season today, so fingers crossed...

There is actually a lot going on, so please hang in there and read to the end.

Construction will be starting soon, really soon, on replacing all the flat Legal Research roofs. On Monday, May 12, the project starts with building the scaffolding on the exterior of the northeast tower. The work involves some demolition, re-insulating the attic, and replacing roofs, hatches, and drainage, so some of this will be noisy. The main ninth-floor hallway (not the Stacks) will be closed entirely from May 12 to early July. All faculty who are normally located in that hallway can be reached by email during the displacement. No entry will be permitted between May 30 and June 12 during the insulation application. We will keep you posted if there are any other updates.

Fire Alarm Testing
On Tuesday, May 13, the fire alarms in Smith Underground Library are being recertified and the ring test will take place from 7 to 7:30 a.m. There is no need to evacuate. There will be some sporadic testing throughout the day on May 13, 14, and 15 to test each device. We expect there will be very few rings, but you may see strobe lights going off; again, no need to evacuate if you do not hear the full alarm ringing.

Phase I of the Reading Room window project is scheduled to be awarded on May 12, so we anticipate starting the project in late May or early June. We expect that work to extend into September. As it stands now, we anticipate the workers taking the three large windows on the southeast side, the large window on the east end (with the Michigan seal), and some northeast and southeast tower windows. The plan is to take the windows out entirely, replace them with plywood (lovely), and return them fully refurbished in the fall. All spaces in the Reading Room will be accessible during the project, but there will be scaffolding in place the entire time.

On Thursday, June 12, we anticipate taking the Hutchins Hall elevator out of service for approximately three weeks to modify it for ADA accessibility. We will send an update as we get closer to the start of that project.

This summer the Ross School of Business construction project will begin. Part of that project includes putting terra cotta on the outside of the Hill Street parking structure. At some point this summer the walkway along the back side of the Winter Garden (going toward Lorch Hall) will be closed and you will need to either go out the front of the parking structure or go through the Winter Garden, but we are told that signs will be posted to let us know. The demolition of one of the buildings will take place from July to October. If you have questions about this project, Lois Harden is regularly attending "neighborhood" meetings and may be able to answer them for you.

Happy spring (and I really mean it this time)!

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

February 10, 2014
Restoration of Stained Glass Windows in Legal Research
Really. And you didn't think it was possible that there was anything else to be constructed.

But we are fortunate that the campus has taken on the financial burden of working to restore the stained glass windows in Legal Research. Over time, the windows have deteriorated substantially, and the campus is funding a project to remove the windows and have them restored by artisans to their original glory. It is quite an expensive project—how expensive they do not yet know, so right now what they will be doing is finding out the extent of the work that needs to be done. The campus has allocated a certain amount of funding, for now, and they will do as much of the work as they can.

To figure all of this out, tomorrow scaffolding will be erected on the southeast corner of the Reading Room so that contractors can get close to the windows to see more of what is needed. We expect the actual work to begin in May.

We do not know much about the process, but will know more as we go and I will keep you informed.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

June 5, 2013
Parking Lot Construction
You will soon be able to hunt for available parking much closer to home! Construction on the "S-5" parking lot (behind South Hall) will begin next week. Because they will be reconfiguring our driveway as part of the construction, all disabled parking behind South Hall will be taken out of service for the duration of construction. The new parking lot will include disabled, gold, service vehicle, business vehicle, motorcycle, and some blue spaces. We expect it to be completed and available for parking around August 9. You can find a map of the finished parking lot here.

Office Keys
Lois Harden will begin a major re-keying project for Legal Research, Hutchins Hall, and Smith Underground library. If your space has not been re-keyed within the last year, you can expect to be part of the project. You will receive your new key prior to your space or office being changed over, and we will provide notice as much as possible.

Since it appears we are finally getting our spring, I hope you are enjoying this glorious weather!

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

May 10, 2013
Spring has finally sprung and we are entering what is, perhaps, nearly certainly possibly maybe, our final season of construction. We have a few things that will be happening immediately about which you should know.

Third Floor Hutchins
We will be doing asbestos abatement for removal of the wall covering on Wednesday, May 15, and Thursday, May 16, after 5 p.m. This means that everyone on the third floor must vacate their office no later than 5 p.m. on those days. The offices can be re-entered any time after 12:30 a.m. on those two days. There will be additional work on the hallway once abatement is complete, but it is not necessary to vacate for that work. This corridor work will be completed by May 31. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lois Harden.

Fire Alarm Testing
We will be doing final construction fire alarm testing on Saturday, May 11. The alarm will sound sporadically that morning prior to 9:30 a.m. The fire marshal will certify and complete the final ring test on Tuesday, May 14, between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.

South University
Well, by now you may have noticed that South University is closed between Tappan and State Street. This is not our fault. The University is working on the steam tunnel that runs beneath the Law Quad and street. It is likely that we will have some utility shut downs as a result of this work, but as always, we will do our best to warn you in advance. The tunnel project is scheduled to run through August 31. Please, please, please be careful crossing Monroe. It appears that although the University told us the detour was Hill Street, most cars and the buses are using Monroe to get to State Street.

Art Fair isn't going to be pretty around here...

Houses Go Down, Parking Comes Up
In the location of the old Admissions house there is now a field of hay that is covering what will soon be a parking lot. There will be service, business, motorcycle, disabled, gold, and a few precious blue spaces in the lot. The schedule for beginning this project has not yet been determined. We are hoping it will be completed before fall term. We'll keep you posted.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

April 1, 2013
Believe it or not, it is that time of year again. The sun is beginning to shine, the crocuses are poking their little leaves above the ground, and it soon will be possible to purchase a dime bag on the corner of Oakland and Monroe. Yes, it is true, Hash Bash is upon us! I'm sorry, the "Monroe Street Fair" will take place on Saturday, April 6. Here's the drill—all the building entrances will be closed and locked and open only to students, staff, and faculty with their MCards from noon to 9 p.m. We may decide to limit access to particular doors but we will let you know if that happens.

And what could make this better?? Fire alarm testing! On Saturday, April 6, from 8 a.m.–10 a.m. and on Monday, April 8, from 7 a.m.–8 a.m., there will be periodic testing of the fire alarm system in Hutchins and Legal Research. You need not evacuate, but it will be annoying because they have to label and test every device in the Reading Room.

You should also know that the two houses between Chabad House and South Hall will be taken down the week of April 8. It should only take a couple of days and shouldn't be disruptive to us.

Let's end on a positive note. We expect some of the Reading Room group study spaces to be open before finals! We will keep you posted on opening and the process for reserving.

Happy Spring!

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

January 15, 2013
Fire Alarm Testing
Really, we're nearly done. And I'm sorry about this morning if you were here—we didn't get any advance notice. We will have a brief ring test tomorrow morning no later than 7:30 a.m. and another on Friday from 7 a.m.–8 a.m. Remember that if you are here during these times and you hear the alarms, you need not evacuate.

Electrical Shutdown
On Saturday, January 26, at midnight, the Reading Room will close and we will begin an electrical shutdown on Sunday, January 27, at 12:01 a.m. That gives you one entire minute to leave (we're generous, we know!). The Reading Room will reopen at 8 a.m. Sunday morning, but the Smith Underground Library will not reopen until Sunday at noon. That is a lot of 12 a.m.'s and 12 p.m.'s, so make sure you have them straight before you venture over to the library.

Faculty/Staff Mail Room
The Hutchins Hall mailroom opens today! It is now located in Room 312 Hutchins Hall.

Just as a reminder, there have been several office moves over the break. Please check the January 2, 2013, construction update for the complete list.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

January 2, 2013
Welcome back! Hope everyone is rested and re-energized for 2013!

I am hoping that this does not set a pattern for this year, but we will start the new year with...wait for it...ALARM TESTING! The Smith Underground Library will be tested on Friday, January 4, from 7 a.m.–8 a.m. South Hall will be tested Tuesday, January 8, from 4 a.m.–8 a.m.

Closures and Shutdowns
Both the men's and women's restrooms in the southwest corner of the basement in Hutchins will be closed on Thursday, January 3, and Friday, January 4. The contractors will be replacing flooring in front of those restrooms, so only the east door of B38 will be available.

On Saturday, January 5, there will be an electrical shutdown in the Smith Underground Library. All of our buildings will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Moves and New Spaces
Much of the construction in the Phase II renovation is complete and we will now start moving people to their new digs. On Friday, January 4, the IT Help Desk support staff (Jason Jude and Debbie Kollar) will move to the back office of the Reading Room front desk (331 Legal Research). Their "front door" is located in the third-floor stacks.

Directional signs have already been placed in Legal Research.

Also on January 4, Barb Brown, Janis Horning, Karen Rushlow, Katy Morris, and Mary Lebert will move to 945 Legal Research.

On Monday, January 7, the Center for International and Comparative Law, including Virginia Gordan, Stephanie Wiederhold, and Barbara Glispin, will move to 212 Hutchins Hall.

On Tuesday, January 8, Pamela Tanner, Laura Harlow, Karen Pritula, Margaret Klocinski, and Linda Wielfaert will move to 308 Hutchins Hall.

The new third-floor mailroom (310 Hutchins Hall) will open sometime in early January.

Also opening is a new conference room in 209 Hutchins Hall. More to come on scheduling that room.

We are still completing renovations to student org spaces, the Dean's suite, and the Reading Room group-study rooms. We expect these projects to be finished in mid-February.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy start to 2013!

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

December 10, 2012
It pains me that every time we have a construction update I have to inform you that we are doing fire-alarm testing, but it really is better that I tell you. Please don't shoot the messenger.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 11, we will be testing the fire alarms in Hutchins and Legal Research from 7 a.m.–8 a.m. If you plan to study that early, I recommend using South Hall where the classrooms, if not in use, will be unlocked. Again, there is no need to evacuate. You may even wish to forget about studying law and become a fire marshal...they have REAL power!

Also, please note that the men's room in the basement of Legal Research will be closed until sometime in mid-January. Alternative restrooms can be found in the café, Hutchins, and just outside the lower level of Aikens Commons.

Construction will be ongoing through the rest of the semester. We will be mindful of exams and will respond promptly to noise complaints as best we can.


Wishing you a safe and restful holiday season!

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

December 3, 2012
As we wind down the semester and wind up the stress level, there are a few things to note about ongoing construction.

On Tuesday, December 4, and Friday, December 7, in preparation for the State Fire Marshal's final approval, we will, once again, be testing fire alarms from 6 a.m.–8 a.m. There will be an announcement at the beginning that these are tests; there is no need to evacuate the building.

On Saturday, December 8, there will be water and steam shut-downs in Hutchins Hall for the entire day. If you want to be warm or if you have to…well, you'll need to use Legal Research, which will be fully functional.

Construction will be ongoing through the rest of the semester. We will be mindful of exams and will respond promptly to noise complaints. We are looking forward to completing Hutchins and Legal Research renovations early in the new year.

Sleep, study hard, and good luck on exams!

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

November 13, 2012
Construction is proceeding apace!! And we are now at that fine stage of the project in which we must test the fire alarms. Yes, that's right…the fire alarms. (One would think that the recent unintentional alarms would be sufficient for giving the system the thumbs-up; unfortunately, the state fire marshal does not share our thinking on this.) The good news is that no evacuation is required during the test. We've done our best to schedule it at a time that is least disruptive, so testing will happen Wednesday, November 14, and Friday, November 16, from 7am to 8am. It will not be a sustained alarm, but will be periodic announcements and sounding of the alarm. If you are an early bird, you may wish to sleep in an extra hour! Testing will only take place in Hutchins Hall and Legal Research.

If you use the Smith Underground Library in the next two weeks, you may hear some construction noise as the contractors do electrical work in a mechanical room connected to the library. We expect the most intensive noise to occur on November 19.

Happy Fall!

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

October 9, 2012
We are taking advantage of your timely departure from the Law School to execute a number of construction projects over the weekend and early next week. Much of the work involves either electrical or water shutdowns, so if you plan to be around, please make note of the following:

Water will be turned off in Hutchins Hall starting on Saturday, October 13, at 4 p.m., until Sunday, October 14, at 6:30 a.m. No restrooms, water fountains, bottle fillers, or sinks will be available in Hutchins Hall during that time. Restrooms and water in Legal Research, Smith Underground Library, and South Hall will be available as usual.

The library elevator from Legal Research 1 to Sub 1 of the Smith Underground Library will be shut down on Monday, October 15, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., in preparation for a major electrical shutdown to take place on Sunday, October 21, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.


During the Sunday, October 21, electrical shutdown, the Smith Underground Library will be closed and cannot be occupied. The library will re-open at 6 p.m.


Starting Friday, October 12, at 4 p.m., until Tuesday, October 16, at 5 p.m., the third floor of Hutchins Hall will be closed at the intersection of the east and south corridors in front of the Dean’s office. You will need to go up or down a floor to get around the construction during those few days.


Hope you all take a little time to enjoy the magnificent colors of a Michigan fall!


Travel safely,


Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

September 21, 2012
You might have noticed that we've actually started Phase II. Demolition and abatement are the always the first thing we do, and we have begun in earnest.

Asbestos abatement air monitoring
Because this is an old building and asbestos was commonly used as an insulator at the time it was constructed, we need to get rid of the asbestos as we uncover the areas in which it is found. As I've mentioned here before, all abatement is done by a special asbestos abatement contractor who is closely monitored by the campus department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH). Spaces where abatement is taking place are sealed off from the rest of the building and the air outside the confined space is protected by multiple layers, including the creation of a negative air space in the confined area. The air is constantly monitored for safety and areas will not be reopened unless and until they are safe.

This weekend, abatement notices have been sent to the student organizations with offices in the basement, relaying that offices will not be accessible this weekend from 5pm Friday, September 21, through 6pm Sunday, September 23. The effected room numbers are 102A, 102B, 104 (men's room), 110, 112, 114, and 116.


Construction Schedule
We've made a decision to do most of the noisiest work on the second and third floor of Hutchins and 9th-floor stacks after 4pm to minimize the amount of disruption. There will still, however, be other—less disruptive—work taking place.

As a reminder, all construction sites have been turned over to our contractor, which means they no longer "belong" to us. No law school staff, faculty or students are permitted on any construction site (even if it is just a room) without explicit permission, escort by the contractor, and appropriate safety gear. This is a very serious safety issue for both the contractor and any curiosity seekers—trust me when I say that you have no idea what you could be walking into (See asbestos note above!).

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

August 20, 2012
Phase II of construction in Hutchins Hall and Legal Research has arrived!

The plan for Law School building projects has been that Hutchins and Legal Research would be renovated once spaces were vacated as offices moved to South Hall. This week, we will finally begin that stage of construction. Listed below are the spaces in which construction will take place, and a little bit about what will be done:

Reading Room
The former Reading Room offices/alcoves will be turned into group study rooms. During construction, doors to each alcove will be barricaded, and there will be noise during the day in the Reading Room throughout the semester. We expect the study rooms to be completed for the start of winter semester.

Dean's office and mailroom
Construction begins this week to permanently relocate the mailroom to create a conference room for the Dean's suite. The mailroom will be temporarily relocated to the third floor corridor of Hutchins on Tuesday, August 21. Eveline Grubbs has moved temporarily to the stock room with Dan Montalvo. The new mailroom will be relocated to Room 312 once construction is complete. The Dean's office will be moving temporarily to 314 and 316 in October, with an expected return upon completion of the renovation in January.

The old communication, finance and IT offices in B38 will be turned into eight new student organization offices, with conference space, organization storage, a kitchenette, and community space. We expect that renovation to be complete by the end of October.

Existing student org offices
After B38 is renovated, students will be moved out of the existing student organization offices (near the old snack bar) so that they can be renovated (the offices, not the students!). LSSS will be diligently working on room assignments this fall. This construction increases the number of student offices available to the organizations and more centrally locates groups around Aikens Commons.

International Center (200, 209, 210, and 212 HH)
A new International Center for housing SJD students and research scholars will be created in room 200, with staff offices to be moved to old 209, 210, and 212. Construction on those spaces is expected to be complete by the end of the semester.

Faculty Assistant Suites (3rd floor and 9th floor)
New suites for faculty assistants (similar to the one on the 3rd floor of South Hall) will be created on the 3rd and 9th floors. We expect the 9th-floor suite to be completed by the end of October, and the 3rd-floor suite to be completed by the end of November.

Room 100 LR (old snack bar)
Some general improvements to carpet, paint, and lighting will be made in the old snack bar. We expect it to be completed by the end of October.

There are likely to be electrical and other shutdowns throughout the project, and some noise. As always, we will work to manage these in a way that minimizes disruptions to daily functions. Stay tuned to these construction updates for more information.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning


June 20, 2012
It has been a long time since we've talked like this...

You may have noticed that we're under construction again. The Lawyers Club project is already well underway and we are readying ourselves for "Phase II" renovations within Hutchins and Legal Research. We will continue the practice of sending out construction updates and posting them in the Construction section of the website, so be sure to check the site to stay up-to-date.

And here we go...

Smith Underground Library
First, and most importantly, the Smith underground library will be closed this Saturday, June 23, for the entire day. Contractors will be doing high-voltage electrical work and the library will be inaccessible. The underground library will reopen on Sunday at 8 a.m. The rest of Legal Research and the Reading Room will be open as usual.

Lawyers Club
You've probably already seen the fencing around the Quad, blocking off the construction site for the Lawyers Club. All entrances to the Quad are fenced off and inaccessible except the State Street entrance and the walkway around the window well of the Smith underground library.

Because of the construction, if you are planning any events in the Quad, you'll need to contact Lois Harden. Until the fencing comes down, all events in the Quad need to be approved by the fire marshal.

Phase II
Although we do not yet have a firm start date, preparation for Phase II renovations of Hutchins and Legal Research have begun with the following office moves:

  • The Comparative and International Law Program has moved to 904 LR (Barbara Glispin), 914 LR (Stephanie Wiederhold) and 921 LR (Virginia Gordan)
  • Help Desk staff (Debbie Kollar and Jason Jude) have relocated to 217 Hutchins
  • Several faculty office moves have been completed. Rozona Kelemen, as always, will post an updated directory online.

There will be much more in the coming months, so please remember to check the Construction Updates on the website.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

March 13, 2012


Well, it has been a fair amount of time since you've heard from me on construction. My silence on the subject was a mere pause for celebration of our accomplishments—but it is now time to move on to the next project.

As many of you are aware, we will be starting the Lawyers Club renovation and Phase II renovations in Hutchins Hall this summer. In preparation for the construction, we need to do a bit of utility work in the southeast corner of the Quad (near the Smith underground light well). Contractors will be driving beams into the ground to support some of the new mechanical structure on the following days:

—Wednesday, March 14, from 9am to 5pm

—Thursday, March 15, from 9am to 12 noon

—If required, Monday, March 19, from 9am until completed (not later than 5pm)

It will, unfortunately, be noisy, but we wanted to get this work done now before we get close to the end of the semester. Get out your headphones!

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning