Construction of the School of Nursing Building

The new University of Michigan School of Nursing

Building for the Future

Key features of the School of Nursing Building include active learning classrooms, a technologically rich clinical learning center with simulation and skills labs and simulated patient suites. The more than 75,000-square-foot structure, just north of the 400 North Ingalls building, includes offices for student services and a small number of faculty offices, with the balance of offices/administration remaining in the existing 400 North Ingalls building. Keeping in mind that students are the main stakeholders for this new building, UMSN sought to create the spaces they need to practice, research, engage, learn, and succeed. The building additionally incorporates energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly features, giving it Gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. 
In September 2015, UMSN celebrated the grand opening of the new building with an open house. Alumni, the U-M community and members of the general public were invited to explore and learn about the resources of the building, from the high-tech simulations to the study nooks intended to foster student collaboration. 

Opportunities for Donor Participation

The $50 million in funds approved for this project by the University of Michigan created a space—but equipping learning spaces to their full potential creates software needs and ancillary academic-related expenses. Various programs need to be funded through support not identified in the "brick & mortar" appropriation secured for the construction project itself. With projected continued growth in academic and research programs and increases in student enrollment, UMSN anticipates adding numerous new faculty positions over the next decade. Supporting this growth and empowering our approach to contemporary and collaborative health education will be filled with exciting opportunities for donor participation.
If you would like to make an impact toward creating a healthier world, we want to talk with you about the future of nursing at the University of Michigan. You may give online (click on below icon) or contact Colleen Zimmerman, Director of Development, U-M School of Nursing ( or (734) 764-1545), to learn more.

History of the New School of Nursing Building

Initial Project ApprovalMarch 15, 2012The U-M Board of Regents approve the School of Nursing building project to move forward into design phase. Architectural firm RDG Planning and Design of Omaha, NE is commissioned.
Design ApprovalJuly 19, 2012The U-M Board of Regents approve design and release architect's rendering of the building's exterior.  Authorization of all additional planning documents completed in anticipation of construction.
Groundbreaking CeremonyApril 5, 2013

Approximately 200 attended ceremonial ground-breaking for construction. Speakers included UMSN Dean Kathleen Potempa, U-M Provost Phil Hanlon, U-M Regent Julia Darlow, Dean's Advisory Council member Gail Warden, U-M President Mary Sue Coleman and nursing student representative Chris Plampin.

Final ApprovalApril 18, 2013The U-M Board of Regents authorize issuing of bids and awarding of construction contracts. Full approval for the project to move into its construction phase.
Construction Site PreparationOctober 18, 2013Part of M-66 parking lot is blocked off, turned over to Turner Construction, and fenced in along with green space at the SE corner of Ingalls & Cornwell Place.
Building/Slope Mass ExcavationNovember 22, 2013Area cleared and trees protected. Mechanically stabilized embankment (MSE) slope and building mass excavation begins, along with utility infrastructure work.
Webcam installedDecember 6, 2013Interested parties can watch the progress of construction on the live webcam.
Slope and foundationMarch 2014See photos as crews work on the slope and foundation.
StairwellsMarch 2014

Three large concrete stairwells erected. The stairwells require approximately 2000 yards of concrete.

Water-tie insApril 2014Crews begin work to tie-in the building with the water main.
Electrical workMay 2014Electrical duct work begins connecting the building to the power grid.
Steel frame and moreJuly 2014Crews work on the steel frame, concrete composite deck floors, fireproofing, exterior studs, vapor barrier and sheathing
Topping CeremonyAugust 20, 2014

UMSN celebrates with a "Topping Ceremony" as the final piece of structural steel was placed.

Becoming "watertight"August 2014Crews begin work on exterior brick and stone masonry.
Progress inside and outOctober 2014Masons work to complete the brick exterior, while other crews frame the interior walls and install the plumbing, electrical and ductwork.
Technology Sneak PeekDecember 2014UMSN’s IT team hosts an open house for the U-M community to showcase the new technology being piloted for use in the building.
Building Opens for ClassesSeptember 2015The much-anticipated moment arrives!
Grand Opening Ribbon-Cutting and Open HouseSeptember 18, 2015The School of Nursing celebrates the grand opening with a ribbon cutting, open house and alumni gala.
LEED Gold CertifiedJuly 11, 2016The U.S. Green Building Council certifies the building as LEED Gold for its sustainability features.

Project Portfolio

Project data, including design and sustainability features, is available through U-M's division of Architecture, Engineering and Construction.
  • Guiding Principles and Building Themes used in the Project (View/Hide)
    1. Both current and new facilities should create community and foster collaboration.
    2. Every learning environment needs to support active learning.
    3. Technology must be available to support active learning and collaboration.
    4. The building should be designed with an eye towards adaptability.
    5. The design should incorporate flexibility that supports meaningful program activity in a cost effective manner.
    6. The building should fit with the U-M architecture but also have a strong identity.
    7. The building should incorporate eco-friendly features, utilize natural light, and include a plaza or courtyard.
  • Academic and Administrative Areas Designed into the Building (View/Hide)
    200 Seat Lecture/Small Group Hall
    • Large tiered classroom; 4,278 sq. ft.
    • 2 tiers per level
    • 2 rows of fixed tables per tier
    • Power at the tables
    • Movable seating for small group work
    • Handicap access
    • Sound lock vestibule
    • 3 projection screens
    250 Seat Conference Center
    • Flat floor, adaptable, movable tables/chairs; 4,083 sq. ft.
    • Ideal for conferences, student service events as well as class lecture and small group work
    • Divisible by sky wall for (2) 60 seat rooms with technology at each table, or divisible for (2) 125 seat rooms with tables/chairs configured in rows
    Media Learning Center
    • Total of 5,594 sq. ft. across 2 rooms
    • (1) 100 seat room and (1) 80 seat room
    • Fixed tables with movable seating
    • Provides an integrated furniture and media solution
    • Designed to enable people to connect and collaborate quickly and seamlessly
    • Rooms will be used for lecture and small group breakout
    Clinical Learning Center
    • 6 simulation rooms
    • Nursing skills lab
    • Physical assessment lab
    • Standardized patient suite (4 rooms total)
    • Task training room
    • Debriefing rooms
    • Master control room to observe any in-progress simulation or learning activity throughout the Center's rooms
    • Anatomy lab
    • Interaction space for ~15-20 people
    • Staff suite
    Academic Administration
    (The school's Office of Student, Academic & Multicultural Services (OSAMS) and the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA))
    • Workstations for advisors, recruiters, event coordinator, clinical education manager and other key staff members
    • Office and conference room space for academic deans and directors
    • Proctor rooms for test taking
    • Interaction space for students and for less formal meetings between academic administration personnel and students
    Faculty Offices
    • ~15 offices for academic program leads (faculty)
    • Transient/"drop in" office space for day use (for faculty teaching in the new facility but with their permanent office space in the existing 400 North Ingalls building)
    • Conference rooms
    • Business center and interaction space for faculty and student collaboration



Project Updates