U-M Computing Center Building

posted Dec 4, 2014, 10:37 PM by Jeff Ogden   [ updated Dec 14, 2014, 2:46 PM ]
The following text is taken from page 77 of the "North Campus Buildings" section from The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor:

The Computing Center at 1075 Beal Avenue was completed by the E. E. Kurtz Construction Company of Ann Arbor at a cost of $1,300,000. Construction began in October of 1969 and was completed in April of 1971. The project was funded by University sources and private gifts. It houses a large computer facility for academic teaching and research functions. Tarapata, MacMahon, Associates designed this three-story building to provide both reliable environmental controls and flexibility in use of space. Elevated "false" floors, raised approximately two feet from the actual floor, form a reservoir for distributing air through the total building thus eliminating conventional ductwork in a facility that would equal the capacity needed to air-condition 40 to 50 homes. This feature also permits readily accessible storage areas for computer cables and electrical and telephone lines serving the building. It is "ready-made" for expansion of the rapidly growing computer field. The University Computing Center, first established in 1959, has had a fantastic growth which is expected to continue. Long-span construction was used throughout the entire building. Since the walls and unusual beams are weight-bearing, the interior space is entirely free of support columns and was completed with easily movable interior partitions to facilitate space relocation. Computer components are located on all three floors to eliminate transmission lag. Elevator, mechanical, and electrical service areas are masonry cores placed at the sides of the building. The first floor is primarily a public service area, seminar rooms, and key punching and terminal rooms. On the second floor is the main computer room and adjacent open-office work areas, while the third floor houses computer-systems research areas, a library, and administrative offices.

Proposal to the U.S. Office of Education to request funding for a portion of the cost of constructing "A Computing Center Building" at the University of Michigan, January 1969. Includes a description of existing computing facilities at UM, including several photographs of the North University Building, plans and costs for the new building, which show a "drive-up window" and a basement that were not included in the building that was actually built.
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