Sen. Ruth Johnson supports OU classroom building project

Sen. Ruth Johnson supports OU classroom building project

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson on Wednesday sponsored an amendment to a state budget bill increasing authorization for renovation and expansion of Oakland University’s South Foundation Hall by $4.2 million.

“This allows more resources to be included in Oakland University’s project to renovate and expand the school’s main classroom building, which has seen significant cost increases due to the pandemic and record-high inflation,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “Once completed, this project will add 37,000 square feet to South Foundation Hall to better serve the community and students from all majors, including those in our growing fields like health care, business and STEM.”

An amendment approved by the Senate to House Bill 4410 would increase the state capital outlay authorization by $4.2 million for Oakland University’s South Foundation Hall renovation and expansion project. The new total project cost would be $44.2 million, of which the state building authority’s share is $30 million and Oakland University’s share is $14.2 million.

According to Oakland University, in early October 2021, it received approval from the state to proceed with competitive bidding pursuant to approval of the project in Public Act 87 of 2021. However, bids received in early December 2021 were over budget. Even with efforts to reduce costs, OU was unable to proceed with the project because the total exceeded the amount authorized the by the state.

The primary purpose of the project is to renovate and expand South Foundation Hall, originally built in 1959, into a modern general-purpose classroom building to serve the entire university and provide 47 general-purpose classrooms of varying sizes.

HB 4410 has been returned to House for consideration. If the House agrees with the Senate changes, the bill will go to the governor to be signed.


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