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Michigan State turning old power plant into science center

Michigan State University plans to turn an old power plant built in the 1940s into a place to learn science, technology, engineering and math. (WWMT/FILE)

Michigan State University plans to turn an old power plant built in the 1940s into a place to learn science, technology, engineering and math.

Groundbreaking is expected next month for the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility. MSU is spending nearly $100 million — including $30 million from the state — to renovate the former Shaw Lane power plant. New construction will add significant space on two sides.

Officials say the facility, expected to open in 2020, will have undergraduate teaching laboratories, project labs and breakout areas. The old plant will include a student commons and gallery.

The power plant was built when the school was known as Michigan State College. It's been unused since 1975.

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