The construction on the Tracy Hall Science Center has cleared one of its biggest hurdles and is on track to be finished on time and on budget.

11-8 Tracey Building (Kaitlyn Johnson) (1 of 3)
The Tracy Hall Science Center construction site. (Kaitlyn Johnson/Signpost)

Construction crews have completed all excavation necessary to lay the foundation and the footings. They are now able to focus their efforts on building the center itself.

“One of the real risky phases of a construction project is getting out of the ground, because once you start digging and excavating, you never know what you are going to find,” said Norm Tarbox, vice president for administrative services at Weber State.

The campus at Weber State has many underground utilities and natural springs that can become huge obstacles for construction crews. Unexpected obstacles like this can prove to be very time consuming and delay the completion date for projects like the Tracy Hall Science Center.

“Almost every single project we’ve done on campus has had some kind of underground complication that we didn’t know about and we didn’t anticipate,” Tarbox said.

The crews will be working above ground for the remainder of the project, as the excavation phase was recently completed with very few complications. One notable exception was a water main break that occurred during the demolition phase of the project. The geyser of water attracted quite a bit of attention from faculty and students on campus over the summer.

Water gushes from the construction site of Tracy Hall during the summer. The incident has been one of the few unexpected issues in construction of the new building, due for completion in 2016. (Source: Dr. Nicola Corbin)
Water gushes from the construction site of the Tracy Hall Science Center during the summer. The incident has been one of the few unexpected issues in construction of the new building, due for completion in 2016. (Source: Nicola Corbin)

“The riskiest part of the project is pretty much behind us now,” Tarbox said. “Things are going very well.”

Construction crews now face another obstacle as they begin the next phase of work. Winter weather is known for slowing down construction projects and presents the team with an all new set of potential complications and setbacks.

Tarbox, however, is not too concerned about the possible delays the crew may experience from the unpredictable winter weather.

“Occasionally you’ll have to shut down for a day or two if a real big snowstorm comes and buries the site, but they’ll work all winter long,” he said.

The winter phase is scheduled to be mostly concrete work. Crews will be working on the two, large four-story towers that will be a central part of building. Tarbox mentioned the crews will have plenty to do and students should expect to see a buzz of activity on the construction site throughout the winter.

A construction camera has been placed on the Bell Tower and streams a live feed of the project on Weber State’s website. Anyone who is curious to see how the project is coming along can do so at www.weber.edu/tv/STCam.

Once completed, the Tracy Hall Science Center will become the largest building on campus. Tarbox remains confident that the construction will be finished on time.

“The project is on time, it’s on budget, and we fully expect it to be handed over to us in May or June 2016,” Tarbox said.

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