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Construction History

May 2018

Lights, Camera, Action!

The first test of the state-of-the-art digital technology in the new Planetarium & Dome Theater connects to NASA!  Planetarium manager Matt Linke and other technicians have been installing and checking out the functionality of the new equipment. This image is from the auxiliary projector — one of three that will be used in the dome.  Two projectors work together to cover the entire dome with an image (fulldome), and this single projector will be used for things like PowerPoint, video conferencing, and small format movies.

April 2018

Mastodons - and Staff - on the Move!

The Owosso mastodon was recently taken off display for the first time since 1947! She is currently being studied by U-M paleontologists. In the coming months, both mastodons will be moved to the Biological Sciences Building and installed as the official greeters to the new Museum.

Although most of the artifacts and specimens remain in the Ruthven Building, most of the staff are settling into their new home in the Biological Sciences Building. The Summer Camp office will remain in Ruthven through the end of camp in August.

December 7, 2017

The new home of the Museum -- the Biological Sciences Building -- has come a long way in two years! The exterior is just about done and the construction crew is busy putting up walls and ceilings and laying terrazzo floors. Major progress has been made with the Planetarium & Dome Theater, and they are just about done installing sound attenuating panels. It has taken more than one million man-hours to get the building to this point!


The UMMNH in the Ruthven Museums Building closes to the public at 5 p.m. on Saturday, December, 30, 2017.

July 27, 2017

The construction on the new Museum is reaching new heights!  It took nearly two weeks to assemble the scaffolding in the East Atrium of the Biological Sciences Building so crews can work on the ceiling. Although the Museum galleries won’t open until 2019, the East Atrium will be accessible when the BSB opens for classes in the fall of 2018. The Museum’s iconic mastodon couple will be standing on the platform visible in the bottom right of this picture—ready to greet students, faculty and visitors—as they enter the building. The two prehistoric whales—Basilosaurus and Dorudon—will be hanging high overhead in the dramatic five-story atrium.

December 8, 2016

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear when we talk about plans for the new Museum in the Biological Sciences Building is: “What will happen to the current museum building?”We are pleased to share that the Board of Regents has approved a conceptual plan to preserve the 1928 Albert H. Kahn-designed Ruthven Museums Building and repurpose it for administration, research, and classroom use.  You can learn more here.

     

September 15, 2016

The Puma is keeping his eye on the construction of his new home at the new Biological Sciences Building -- the future location of the U-M Museum of Natural History!  The exterior of the building will be covered in a rainscreen of terra cotta tiles designed to enhance the building's energy efficiency.

 

April 20, 2016

The BSB Construction Team was quite busy over the winter assembling the steel superstructure of the new Biological Sciences Building, future home of the UMMNH. They completed more than one third of a huge "erector set" which consists of approximately 5,900 individual pieces and held together with over 58,000 bolts.

January 22, 2016

The concrete foundations and basement walls for the new Biological Sciences Building, future home of the U-M Museum of Natural History, are approximately 80% complete.  This activity will finish up in February.  Structural steel will begin to arrive in February.  Steel erection will take upwards of 5-6 months to complete.

March 19, 2015

We're Breaking Ground!

Site work has begun for the new Biological Sciences Building, future home of the U-M Museum of Natural History and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts' biology departments and research museums.

Substantial completion of the new building is expected around the first of January 2018. The Museum of Natural History will likely remain open in its current location until sometime in 2018. The Museum will then close for a period of time while the staff readies the new Museum space and exhibits in the Biological Sciences Building. No decisions have yet been made regarding the future of the Ruthven Museums Building.

Stay tuned for future updates!

 

November 20, 2014

Architectural renderings of the new Biological Sciences Building: View from N. University Ave. (left); view from Washtenaw Ave. (right)

 

New UMMNH Space: Regents Approve Plans

November 20, 2014 - The Regents of the University of Michigan approved the schematic design for a new Biological Sciences Building, which will be the new home for the U-M Museum of Natural History and will be shared with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts’ biology departments and research museums.

The new U-M Museum of Natural History space is expected to open in 2019.  

The current museum in the Ruthven Museums Building will likely remain open until sometime in 2018. The University has not made any decisions about the future of the Ruthven Museums Building, home of the current museum.

Check back often for updates and further information on the project. Subscribe to the Museum's email list. 

Press Release: Bio-sciences building design blends research, teaching, museums

Letter from Museum Director Amy Harris