Asa Daniels, Campus Carrier staff writer

Construction of the new Animal Science building is nearing completion, ahead of the original May due date. According to Todd Bradford, director of strategic property planning, the contractor Brasfield and Gorrie has received their certificate of occupancy. Construction will finish in the coming weeks, with furniture and AV being installed during the summer. Faculty are slated to move in during the summer for preparation for fall classes.

According to Bradford, there will be two Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) classrooms, new labs including necropsy, Anatomy and Physiology, microbiology, animal science and community along with several smaller research labs. There will also be a tiered lecture hall that seats 50 people, new offices for the animal science faculty and storage space for lab equipment.

Scott Breithaupt, associate vice president for advancement, explained that the new building is the last of the Life Ready campaign construction projects, which also included the renovation of the Betty Anne Rouse Bell recital hall. Breithaupt said that this project was funded with $15,735,000. The money came exclusively from donors and construction did not begin until major donations were provided, such as six figure ones, Breithaupt explained.

Judith Wilson, chair of the department of animal science, is excited for the new space because of its larger size and capabilities to better serve animal science majors.

“[Westcott] really [is] too crowded for us so, one of the biggest things I think that we’re going to see an improvement in is our teaching lab spaces. We’re going to have some new, modern, large teaching spaces, which is going to be great for teaching our labs,” Wilson said.

Wilson is also excited for the opportunity to be closer to main campus and other natural science departments.

“We’ll be closer to, you know, all the faculty and staff members, because we are a little bit isolated up here kind of behind the Ford building, so we’ll be able to have more interaction with our colleagues in the other departments in math and natural sciences [and] we’ll be in a more centralized location,” Wilson said.

For Wilson, the biggest challenge is going to be the move from Westcott to the new building over the summer and getting fully prepared for the upcoming fall semester.

“The challenge is going to be moving from Westcott into the new building and [to] get ourselves all set up and ready to roll, you know, in August when it’s time for us to start classes again, so that’s probably the thing that’s most concerning for us right at this time,” Wilson said.

Another challenge that Wilson is anticipating is the process of figuring out where the best locations for certain labs during the semester.

“We have an idea about how that should all work, but you have to kind of go through the process at least once to make sure ‘hey this seems to work’ or ‘no maybe we should be putting our anatomy and physiology lab in a different lab space than we have it’, so, it’s just a matter of kind of working through the kinks to see how everything’s going to work and kind of get used to what we have now and using it to the best of our ability,” Wilson said.

Wilson also explained that a small downside of the new building is that the office spaces are going to be smaller than they are in Westcott. This will require professors to go through books, files and other office supplies that they will need to store elsewhere or get rid of.

Wilson believes that the Westcott building will be missed due its longtime use.

“We’ll probably miss the Westcott building a little bit because it’s, as I said, it’s kind of a quirky space, but it’s been our home for a long time,” Wilson said. 

Wilson looks forward to using it in the coming fall semester.

“We’re just really excited to finally be in a new, modern building, you know, with the facilities that we think will really help with our teaching and provide for the students something that’s expected you know, to have updated facilities,” Wilson said.

Posted by Campus Carrier

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