The University of Utah will spend almost $1 million to renovate space for its new, powerful $22 million supercomputer.

Walter Gnemi, U. vice president for administrative services, said the $980,000 proj-ect, financed by research and development funds, will include extensive renovation of the Park Building Annex.Offices in the area were damaged earlier this year when a water pipe burst. Gnemi said equipment will monitor the supercomputer facility to prevent a similar accident.

The expenditure was approved by the U. Institutional Council Monday.

The U. is working with IBM to purchase and operate the state-of-the-art IBM Model 3090/600s. IBM is selling the computer to the U. for $8.8 million. The supercomputer completes complex computations at very high speed and has a very large memory.

Gnemi said the project will include renovation of the building's electrical and cooling systems so they can handle the equipment, installation of a beefed-up security system and remodeling of office space for 23 scientists and engineers.

IBM wants to make the U. facility a showcase and will supply 12 to 15 engineers to help run the supercomputer facility at no cost to the U., he said.