New engineering building “80 percent” complete

Ben Crawley, News Editor

The sounds of drills, cranes and trucks on campus will soon be over, with the School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management (SEECM) building nearing completion.

“We are pretty much on time, pretty much on budget. We’re looking forward to substantial completion by the end of November,” said William Seymour, Director of Capital Projects. “It’s tracking like it’s going to be on time.”

According to Seymour, there have been “no big surprises, lots of little surprises.” Those include some minor changes to the operating budget, but according to him it has remained manageable.

Construction began in August 2018 and now, over a year later, the project is nearing its end. The university is aiming for a completion date of Nov. 29, but that does not mean students will be able to use it just yet.

Between Nov. 29 and Jan. 22, equipment, furniture and other necessities will be moved into the building. Landscaping, which has been donated by DaPonte’s Landscaping Services, will also be done at this time. The building will open to students on the first day of spring semester.

This building will also consolidate all the labs in the construction management program into one building.

“It enables us to abandon a property on Franklin Street in Bristol called Hawkworks,” Seymour said. “All of the fabrication and all of the laboratory work that we do at Hawkworks, and all of the associated equipment, will be relocated to the new building.”  

Some of the larger equipment, like lab apparatus for a fluids class and a ten-ton capacity crane have already been installed. The crane hangs over the new construction management lab on the first floor that allows students to learn how to build structures. 

“This is a really important space,” Seymour said. “It’s going to be fabulous.”  

The building will also include a Virtual Reality lab, software lab and communal area for students to work on projects together.  

Students have already learned from this building. The building has become a “great training aid” according to Seymour, and some students have done internships for Shawmut Design and Construction, the main contractor working on the building.

 “The major benefit of having a new building is that during our classes, all of our projects can be focused around it,” said Julia Pateman, a junior construction management major and someone who interned on the project. “It’s really cool because you can kind of learn the ins and outs of a building, specifically one that we are going to be able to benefit from.”