Dust fills the hot and dry afternoon air on Weber State University’s largest construction site as workers continue to build the new science building.
While campus is naturally less busy during the summer months, those who still make their way to WSU will notice that one of the most expensive building projects in school history is taking shape.
According to Norm Tarbox, who supervises the construction for the university, the process is both within budget and on schedule.
“We are anticipating to take possession of the building in May of 2016, and then we have all summer to put in furniture and move in before the beginning of the fall semester,” Tarbox said. “This is really uncommon because with past buildings, we’ve often tried to move in the weekend before school starts.”
“We believe that this building will be a great showcase for Weber State,” he said, adding that he hopes the new building may encourage undecided students to decide in favor of pursuing a science degree.
According to Tarbox, the new Tracy Hall Science Center is the final step to revitalizing Bell Tower Plaza. Preceding projects included the construction of Elizabeth Hall, significant remodeling at the Shepherd Union Building and the Stewart Library and the installment of landscaping features around the Bell Tower.
Work on the new building began after the end of the 2014 spring semester when buildings three and four were torn down and the construction site was cleared from the resulting debris. Later in the summer, the building foundation was laid, and walls took shape by the beginning of the fall semester.
“We’re seeing it now for the first time after seeing it on paper for years and years,” Tarbox said. “It’s really exciting.”
Despite general excitement among both students and faculty, some had to make sacrifices because of the construction and will likely continue to do so until its completion next spring. Most significantly, the project made it more difficult for pedestrians to walk across campus without having to take detours, even though a temporary sidewalk was installed.
“Unfortunately, the fences around the new building will have to stay until the end of the spring semester,” Tarbox said. “There is no way around that. It has been loud, dirty and more difficult to access some areas of campus, but we hope that, a year from now, people will hopefully forget and see the beauty of the finished project.”