SECCM building open for all to use

After being under construction since August 2018, the School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management's new building (left) is finally open for use.

By Megan Willgoos l Managing Editor and Ben Crawley l News Editor

After 17 months of construction noises heard around campus, the new School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management (SECCM) building is open for classes. Now, students will be the ones practicing construction on the inside. 

Construction on the SECCM building began in August of 2018. The new building boasts state of the art technology and facilities, including a virtual reality lab, software lab and fabrication lab, complete with a gantry crane. 

“The gantry crane is really opening us up to a whole bunch of new lab activities we can do with the students,” said Steve Pulver, a lab technician who works in the fabrication lab. “A little bit of everything goes on in this space.” 

Pulver said in the fall, construction management students will build a scaled-down 16×40 foot house.

“They go over block foundations, deck framing, roofing. We do plumbing, electric, so there’s a little bit of everything,”  Pulver said. 

This spring, students will learn more about concrete, performing concrete testing and mix design.

Pulver said the new building will allow students to gain experience they will use in real life. He says students will learn things “they’ll actually see on the job site.” 

Taylor Palermo, a junior studying construction management, is excited to use the indoor crane. Mainly, she is happy she does not need to go off campus for labs. 

In the past, construction management students had to travel to Hawkworks, an off-site facility in downtown Bristol, to complete their labs. Palermo had to provide her own transportation to and from class once a week.  

Besides the thrill of the gantry crane, Palermo thinks the virtual reality room will also add to her learning.

“It’s going to really help the learning experience and be a lot easier than our old classrooms, where it’s just projector and white board. I’m excited,” Palermo said.  

The official building dedication will be held on April 24, as part of a week long celebration. Events held during that week will include the inauguration of President Miaoulis, who is a former engineer himself. 

Miaoulis said his initial thought walking into the building on Jan. 24 was “spectacular.”  

“I’ve seen a lot of engineering buildings,” Miaoulis said. “This one is just outstanding. This is what Roger Williams deserves for a dream building.”