Flaws in Science Center lead to building closures
The Science and Technology Center is undergoing major construction due to issues found with the building’s limestone façade.
The renovations began in the 2010 spring semester and are expected to continue for as long as a year and a half. Because of construction, the building’s atrium will no longer be in use along with the stairwell inside of it. During the spring semester, pedestrian barriers were erected on the sidewalks around the Center. The scaffolding was erected to ensure the safety of the University community.
“My inquiries into that was out that they were worried that the façade pieces could potentially fall off the building and through the glass of the atrium and injure someone so that’s why they had put up the barriers,” said Carolyn Bentivegna, Associate Professor in the department of Biological Sciences and current Department Chair of Biological Sciences.
Since the building was opened in 2007, the atrium has served as both an event venue for on-campus organizations and a study space for students.
“The fact that the atrium and the stairwell being closed is probably the only major issue students may have because a lot of students use that space to look over their notes and prepare for their next class,” said Charles Farmer, junior and Biology major. “However the building does have many other areas including a small study lounge that can be easily accessed.”
“There are a lot of people who come over to the atrium, because it is a beautiful atrium, to hold events and now that it is roped off they won’t, unfortunately, be able to use the atrium for a while,” said Bentivegna.
“The securing and assessment work should be completed within two weeks,” said Michael Marconi, Project Manager for Facilities Engineering.
He ensured that progress will continue to be made.
Other than the atrium, the rest of the building will continue to be used throughout the reparation process. Marconi said that there will be no disruption to the class schedule.
“We were informed by the building manager that there would be some noise from the drilling on the building. I haven’t heard too much noise yet, but I do see how this will be a big project that is going to take a while,” said Bentivegna.
Greg De Bel, senior and Biology major has two classes and one lab in the building.
“I have not had any disruptions for my class but I am sure that any drilling or such will be done quickly. It is just a minor issue,” said De Bel.
The Science and Technology building, also known as McNulty Hall, first opened in September of 2007. The University spent $35 million on the modernization and expansion of the building. When it was first built, the University aspired to create a new “state-of-the-future” building for the sciences.
“That’s very disappointing since it is a new building that, you know they already put a great deal of money into this building and now they have to go back and replace all of this,” said Bentivegna.
The University expects to recover all expenses from the repairs.
Alyana Alfaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org