Construction on the Vision in Action projects will continue throughout the semester and the summer to complete demolition and build the new additions on campus.
The Vision in Action plan was announced to the public last spring, and construction has begun on various areas of campus including Bennett Gym, the track and soccer field, Walling Lecture Hall and Chambers Hall. Construction is expected to begin on Foster Science Building later this semester.
Despite the difficulties of the project, the construction team has been working six days a week on Bennett Gymnasium, and the building will soon be open for the Department of Engineering to take control.
The next big project for Kevin Roberts, vice president of operations and the Operations, and his staff is construction on the Onstead Science Center, which will take the place of what is now the Foster Science Building.
“The exterior part of Foster and Walling will be built, and while that’s going on, we will be tearing down and building Halbert Walling (Research Center),” Roberts said. “Once we get Halbert Walling built, then we’ll take all of the labs that are in the interior of Foster Science and move them into the new building and then turn our attention to the interior of Foster Science.”
The track and soccer fields are complete, and teams are able to use them for practice. Bennett Gymnasium will be open for the engineering department mid-February.
Chambers Hall was emptied during winter break. Demolition is projected to be complete mid-semester, and the Halbert Walling Research Center will take its place.
“With demolition, you would think you would just come in and knock stuff down,” Roberts said. “Well, the city and the state all need a submitted demolition plan and get them all certified.”
Faculty from the Departments of Psychology and Language and Literature were moved out of Chambers at the end of last semester. Dr. Cole Bennett, chair of the language and literature department, welcomed the change with enthusiasm.
“We are so happy to be out of Chambers that it’s hard to find a negative side,” he said. “Chambers was full of crickets, it had sewage problems, it didn’t smell good, just because it was so old. We’re thrilled to see it go down.”