New Ginsberg Building to have eco-friendly features, more space

Plans are moving forward for a new, environmentally sustainable building on U-M’s Central Campus that will enhance the Edward Ginsberg Center’s focus on community engagement and student learning.

The Board of Regents on Dec. 8 authorized construction to proceed on the approximately 11,000-square-foot Edward and Rosalie Ginsberg Building at 1024 Hill St. The board also approved the project’s schematic design.

The facility will replace the 7,500-square foot Madelon Pound House, the Ginsberg Center’s current home.

Ginsberg Center Director Neeraja Aravamudan said the new, larger space will enable a more robust menu of programming, educational and service opportunities to promote civic learning and engagement.

“With additional spaces that are larger and more flexible in terms of technology, accessibility and physical layout, we can host more and larger group meetings, presentations and events,” she said.

The Ginsberg Building will have collaborative meeting rooms, a resource library, student organization space, and areas for support and administration activities.

A look at what the interior of the Edward and Rosalie Ginsberg Building will look like. (Image courtesy of Architecture, Engineering and Construction)

An array of eco-friendly features — from high-performance roof and wall insulation for optimum energy efficiency to low-flow plumbing fixtures for water conservation — will make it a model of sustainable design.

The all-electric facility will use an energy-efficient, closed-loop geo-exchange heating and cooling system. The system was included in the project in anticipation of the Ann Arbor campus purchasing electricity from renewable energy sources, resulting in a carbon-neutral operation.

Additional features include strategically placed windows to maximize energy efficiency; an open, inviting interior environment that connects occupants to the natural world; and an irrigation-free landscape with native and drought-tolerant plants.

The total estimated project cost is $10.5 million. A $10 million gift from William and Inger Ginsberg that was announced earlier this year will support construction of the new building.

While the project includes demolition of the Madelon Pound House, Madelon Pound’s name will continue to be honored in a way that is approved by the Facilities Naming Steering Committee. 

For more than two decades, the Ginsberg Center has worked to cultivate and steward equitable partnerships between communities and the university in order to advance social change for the public good, with a focus on the values of inclusive democracy; thriving, diverse communities; and equity and social justice.

An artist’s rendering of the exterior of the new Edward and Rosalie Ginsberg Building, looking southwest. (Image courtesy of Architecture, Engineering and Construction)

Aravamudan said the Madelon Pound House needs significant infrastructure upgrades and is not well-suited to the current or future needs of Ginsberg Center programming or staff. It lacks space for community partner meetings and other gatherings of more than about 15 people.

“Student organizations and student leaders will have a dedicated space to meet, gather, study and make the Ginsberg Center their home on campus,” Aravamudan said about the new building. “It will also allow more flexibility for our staff to collaborate with campus and community partners with the additional huddle rooms and meeting rooms, both virtually and in person.”

Construction is scheduled to conclude in spring 2025. The project is expected to provide an average of nine on-site construction jobs.

The nearby Hill Street parking structure will accommodate the need for nine additional parking spaces associated with the new building.

Because of the project, the Ginsberg Center will be temporarily located in the basement of the Michigan League starting in January. Its address there will be B6 Ginsberg, 911 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1265.

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