2023: The Year in Review

Aerial photo of MSU campus

Danielle Fowler

January 25, 2024

Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF) plans, builds, maintains and beautifies MSU’s physical campus environment and directs the university’s long-term infrastructure planning goals. With a university the size of a small city, our focus is supporting MSU’s infrastructure needs while being responsible stewards of MSU’s resources and minimizing our environmental impact.

Here are just a few of the highlights from IPF’s work in 2023.

Building (and purchasing) new spaces

  • Multicultural Center. MSU broke ground on a first-of-its-kind 34,000-square-foot multicultural center that will include an outdoor amphitheater, collaboration spaces, office space for student organizations, prayer rooms, an art gallery wall, and a resource center to help students with academic, mental health and other needs.
  • Student Wellness and Recreation Center. A new Student Recreation and Wellness Center near the corner of Shaw Lane and Harrison Road will replace the IM West building. The new facility will make recreational sports and fitness services available within easy walking distance of where students, faculty and staff live and work.
  • Packaging Building renovation. The second major renovation to the Packaging Building, built in 1964, adds flexible classrooms, collaboration-friendly spaces for industry partners to engage with students, and modernizes facilities to attract faculty.
  • Farm Lane Bridge. The Farm Lane Bridge, originally constructed in 1936, spans the river on the main north-south corridor through the heart of campus. Time and use by generations of Spartans have taken their toll, requiring a full replacement of the bridge. Construction of a new Pedestrian Bridge was completed in 2023, and construction continues to rebuild a new roadway.
  • Henry Ford + MSU Health Sciences Detroit building. Planning was authorized for a new state-of-the-art research facility in downtown Detroit as part of the Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences’ 30-year partnership. The Nick Gilbert Neurofibromatosis Research Institute and a 72-bed state-of-the-art physical medicine and rehabilitation facility will be housed in the new location.
  • Purchase of 4660 and 4700 Hagadorn Road. In partnership with MSU Health Care Inc. (HCI), IPF’s Real Estate Office facilitated the purchase of two buildings to allow HCI to consolidate and brand their clinical practices and allow space to expand and grow their practice offerings.
Large light towers lined up in an open dirt area.
46 solar light towers will save 400 gallons of diesel fuel and 700 lbs, of CO2 emissions every game.

Being Spartan Green

  • Diverting waste from landfills. In 2023, about 6 million pounds of material was recycled, 3 million pounds was diverted to surplus or reused by other means, and 2 million pounds was composted. More data can be found at msurecycling.com/our-impact.
  • MSU goes solar to light home football games. Up until 2023, paths were lit by light towers using diesel-fueled generators, creating noise and fumes. Now, 46 solar light towers help light the entrances and exits to Spartan Stadium and the most heavily traveled paths to and from parking lots during evening home games, saving about 400 gallons of diesel fuel and 700 lbs. of CO2 emissions every game.
  • MSU’s Recycling Center wins national sustainability award. The Surplus Store and Recycling Center was selected as a recipient for the 2023 NACUBO Excellence in Sustainability Award which recognizes institutions for a specific campus innovation, process or program that advances environmental sustainability in higher education or progress toward a more environmentally sustainable future. Go Green!
  • MSU ranked highly for sustainability by Times Higher Education. MSU – home to the state's largest and one of the first mass-timber buildings, the nation's largest solar carport array, a growing electric vehicle fleet, and a campus of more than 20,000 trees – jumped seven spots to No. 26 globally in Times Higher Education’s 2023 Impact Rankings. MSU also maintained its prestigious No. 2 ranking in the United States.
  • Power Plant upgrades to move MSU closer to greenhouse gas reduction goals. New energy generation systems now operational at MSU’s T.B. Simon Power Plant will greatly advance the university’s efforts to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.
An IPF employee retrieves an item from a shelf in IPF's storage warehouse.
Kristin Saier selects parts from M&L's massive inventory for use by IPF's skilled tradespeople.

Campus & Community Collaboration

  • Facility and Land Use Plan approved. In December, the MSU Board of Trustees approved the Integrated Facilities and Land Use Plan, the result of nearly two-years of engagement with the Spartan community. The plan provides a flexible framework to guide the campus’s physical development for years to come.
  • IPF collaborates with MSU Archaeology to unearth century-old observatory foundation.  The discovery gives insight into campus history and provides educational opportunities for students.
  • IPF’s annual move-out collaboration with Student Life and Engagement. Surplus Store and Recycling teams collected over half a million pounds of materials at 2023 Spring move-out, an event they collaborate on every year.
  • MSU Recycling Center collaborates with teens on NOVA video project. The Surplus Store & Recycling Center worked with teens from Davison High School on a video about food waste in collaboration with WKAR and the NOVA Science Studio program as part of a series on the local impacts of climate change.
  • Stewarding our urban arboretum. Landscape Services leads the way with the care of our beloved campus arboretum on the annual Arbor Day Celebration in partnership with W.J. Beal Botanical Gardens 150th Anniversary.
An IPF employee gently holds a small bird in an office.
IPF's Jacob Barlow rescuing a black-capped chickadee from a room in the IPF building.

Technology and Innovation

A long row of people toss beanbags toward the cornhole board yards away.
An annual tradition: the Cornhole Tournament at the IPF Employee Picnic.

Celebrating Our People

  • Supervisor Equivalency Program sees first graduate. IPF's Supervisor Equivalency Program is designed to support employees interested in entry-level IPF supervisory roles but who may not meet the supervisory experience requirements. In 2023 the first IPF employee graduated from the program.
  • Behind the Scenes @ MSU. This series highlights IPF teams and employees who help keep MSU running, and gives Spartans a glimpse into the inner workings of MSU’s East Lansing campus.