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Series of moves to renovated space under discussion

by Karen A. Grava - May 29, 2007

A preliminary plan to phase in a series of moves will create new and renovated space for biology, mathematics, physics, the Institute of Materials Sciences, and University Information Technology Services without any department moving more than once.

The plan was outlined to the Capital Projects Planning Advisory Committee in May, and because it was received favorably, it will be explored in detail over the next few months.

The plan, which retains the former warehouse building near the Health Services facility, would accomplish a series of renovations at a lower cost and more quickly than replacing Torrey Life Sciences with a building of equal or larger size, said Provost Peter J. Nicholls.

Both the warehouse and the new Torrey building could be done simultaneously.

It would also mean that no department would move more than once.

This is especially important, since many of the departments involved have large and complex labs, he said.

The plan’s focus initially would be the former warehouse building, which was built so solidly that two floors can be added without major structural renovations.

Although the building has few windows, they could be added easily, as the outside walls are not load-bearing.

After renovations, he added, the warehouse would house the mathematics department and UITS, freeing up space in the Gant Complex that could be renovated for the physics department.

Once physics moved, its space could be renovated for the Institute of Materials Sciences.

The north wing of Gant could then be renovated to provide space for the biology units.

Torrey would remain functional while a replacement building was constructed

The plan would also provide enough space to accommodate biology teaching labs that are currently located in Bronwell Engineering building, to free up that space for engineering programs.

“We have not yet looked at the square footage in detail, nor at the cost of the plan,” said Nicholls.

“But it is clear that it provides us with more flexibility. The next logical step will be to look at scope, cost, and the needs of each department.”

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