WMU News

Chemistry building groundbreaking is Friday

April 20, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University officials will formally break ground to launch construction of a new chemistry classroom building during a brief ceremony set for 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 22, near Wood Hall.

Taking part in the ceremony will be: Peter Aseritis, chair of the WMU Board of Trustees; WMU President Judith I. Bailey; Dr. Thomas Kent, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Michael Barcelona, chair of the Department of Chemistry; Curtis Deer, a senior chemistry major from Lawrence, Mich.; and Dennis Vovos, the project architect from Holabird & Root.

A reception in Wood Hall will follow the ceremony.

The 83,000-square-foot building is set for fast-track construction and is planned for completion in time for the beginning of the fall semester 2006. The $28.5 million instructional laboratory facility will replace the aging McCracken Hall as a site for student instruction. The architectural firm Holabird & Root and the construction management firm Miller-Davis Co. are the principal contractors involved in construction.

The building will be attached to Wood Hall and bordered on two sides by Waldo Library and the Dalton Center. The facility, which will be used only for student instruction, includes three large auditoriums that can be used both for chemistry and general education purposes, as well as smaller classrooms, instructional labs and spaces dedicated for use by student groups.

No faculty offices will be part of the new facility, but they will be easily accessed through the connector to Wood Hall where chemistry faculty members have their offices. To preserve campus green space around the building site, a tunnel will connect the new building to the Dalton Center, providing access for shipping and utility maintenance.

Site preparation has already begun with the removal and relocation of trees, art work and memorial gardens. More than 70 trees were relocated in April, and work was begun on underground utilities and a tunnel connecting to the Dalton Center loading dock. The first of two planned site construction fences is already in place.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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