SECCM Construction is on schedule

Kaylee Pugliese, News Editor

Construction for the new School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management building has been underway on campus since August.

Capital project manager Derrick Maloney says the team has been working on the project since late 2015. It started with a design that the school had done. The university initially worked with the architects, then considered the budget and began construction.

“It’s right on schedule,” he said. “We’ve got a few things that are ahead, and a few things that are behind, but we are still aiming for November 2019 for a delivery date.” 

This does not mean the building will be open for use in this fall, however. Rather, they will be going through a process that they call being “fit out,” where workers fill the facility with new equipment and furniture and bring over existing equipment from the old building during winter break.

“This is a place on campus that before had some trees, some original pavement, it had walkways and stairs that were largely inaccessible if you were in a wheelchair or had any mobility issues,” he said. “In my view, we got rid of that and now the whole circulation around the building is completely accessible.”

He said this saves the university time and money for not having to maintain and manage things like putting salt on the stairs during snowy weather, which gets into the water systems and changes the hydrology. This presents a sustainability issue.

“I know the site of building and the scale of the building has been criticized,” he said. “It’s really the program of the building that drives the size.”

He said that building the facility somewhere else would have required it to be farther away from the current area where SECCM students work and study. He said they went through a “pretty rigorous process” to figure out the proper placement.

 Cost was also a factor, with the current site having the most potential for development. Part of the project is installing a fire pump. This will be the only fire pump on the south side of campus rather than one for every building, which will reduce the amount of diesel being released into the air.  

A portion of the engineering school called Hawk Works is located in Bristol on Franklin Street. Maloney said that this project brings that back to campus.

Junior construction management major and intern for the project, Ross Ruble, says that he is most looking forward to the labs being available on campus.   

“There’s going to be a lot more places to do work and more labs,” Ruble said. “We will be able to have them right here. It’s a big upgrade with more up-to-date features.”

Maloney said the new experiences will benefit students.

“It’s really about [students] getting those hands-on experiences so when they get out into the field, you’re not standing on a construction site saying, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen that before,’” he said. “It’s nice to have that experience before you get there.”