The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, February 11, 2011

MSU cyclotron job a forerunner of massive FRIB construction

By The Building Tradesman

EAST LANSING – With all types of delayed infrastructure work needing to be addressed, and with a growing list of new construction projects on its to-do list, Michigan State University is embarking on a major construction initiative that’s just the ticket for construction workers and contractors looking for employment.

In its 2010-2011 appropriation request to the state, MSU described its “extensive facility needs,” and that “over the next five years, current forecasts anticipate general fund facility and infrastructure needs of approximately $116 million.”

Much, but not all of the work will involve revamping residence halls. But one project that’s well under way is what’s known as the Cyclotron Building Office Addition Phase 2.  Located at Bogue Street and Shaw Lane, the $8 million addition will add four floors and a penthouse similar to the recently completed Phase 1 office building. An enclosed walkway/bridge will link the buildings.

Work on the one-year project began last September .The first floor will contain a lecture hall and large conference room with “priority use,” the MSU says, by the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory/Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (NSCL/FRIB).

The pending FRIB project is separate from the aforementioned construction activity on campus, but when it arrives, it will provide a boom all its own. Construction on the $550 million FRIB isn’t expected to start until 2013. When it is complete in 2017, the facility will make MSU a worldwide leader in physics. FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth) and will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of these rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society.