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Tech breaks ground on IESB

February 4, 2018

 

BRYN YOUNG
News Editor | bjy001@ latech.edu

 

The graphic depicts the new Integrated Engineering and Science building on the corner of Dan Reneau and Homer Street. – Illustration courtesy of Sam Wallace

 

Louisiana Tech took another large step in its plan for the future on Jan. 4 as fences went up around the latest addition to the school, the Integrated Engineering and Science Building.

 

The associate dean of undergraduate studies for science and engineering, Heath Tims, says that the building will house the freshman- and sophomore -level courses for the college and will supplement current facilities.

 

“Bogard will definitely still be used,” Tims said. “We are not abandoning Bogard at all. Matter of fact, Bogard will still continue to be one of our main engineering buildings. But what will happen is that the new building will move over our freshmen- and sophomore- level stuff. We’ve just significantly outgrown this space.”

 

The building will house three floors with the first floor dedicated to “living with the lab” type courses Tims said. The second floor will house math and the third will host classrooms and labs dedicated to chemistry and physics.

 

“I think it’s nice to be able to get a lot of our classes back in one central area,” Tims said. “I think that will be a tremendous asset. I think it’s also going to be a state of the art building.”

 

The new facility is being built at the corner of Dan Reneau Drive and Homer Street on the gravel lot many students had been using for parking. According to associate vice president for administration and facilities Sam Wallace, the project will cost about $37 million in total with the building expected to be completed by mid-May 2019 and open for use by fall of 2019.

 

“There are things that happen during construction, such as weather delays that will extend (the contract) a little bit,” Wallace said. “There are always, with a project this large, things that you don’t anticipate whether it’s a condition on the site or a delay in steel shipment that may delay it a little bit. We are going to try to hold that as tight as we can because we need to be in the building by fall quarter 2019.”

 

Wallace said the funds will come from the state as well as a good portion coming from fundraising done by the university.

 

“The majority of the construction money, that $30,500,000 is from the state capital outlay,” Wallace said. “We, the university, raised in the neighborhood of $7 million and we are contributing that to the project. Additional fundraising is always ongoing, so they are working toward that right now.”

 

Wallace also mentioned the parking problems that come with the new construction are being noted and that things are being done to help ease those issues.

 

“Through student affairs and some long-range work, there are some parking options (being) looked at,” Wallace said. “We just took some prices to put some rock out on the area behind the biomed building. That should be done probably before the spring quarter 2018 starts.”

 

However, SGA treasurer Logan James says students are still feeling the growing pains of Tech and have complained to them about the parking issues caused by the construction.

 

“We are hearing a lot of frustration really,” James said. “That parking lot is one of the biggest on campus and to have over half of it taken up by construction is really exacerbating the parking issue on campus.”

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