Rain slows construction


Daniel Hernandez / The Advocate

Contractor Sylvester Duarte digs near the Applied Arts Building as part of the campus construction for the new Science Complex

By Luis Cortes, Advocate Staff

The 2019 winter season has brought a significant amount of rain and with it a halt on the progress of the three phases of construction of the new Science Complex.

However, construction near the Applied Arts Building looks to resume after weeks of inclement weather.

The first increment in the project was to demolish the former Health Science and Liberal Arts buildings. That phase has reached completion. The projected timeline for the completion of the building of the Science Complex is 2023.

Building and Grounds Manager Bruce King said the rain had affected the construction a little bit, but all plans remain on schedule.

“There’s still plenty of time,” King said regarding increment two which hopes to begin near the end of March.

Increment two involves grading (which may start in April), utilities and the laying down of the foundation.

This phase will take place primarily in the dry months of the year, King said. Increment three is the start of the actual construction of the building.

The cost for the entire project, from the demolition of the Health Science and Liberal Arts buildings to the construction of the Science Complex, is $68.86 million.

Students who walk up the stairs located near Lot 11 will notice workers digging up the ground situated outside the AA Building.

Many have questioned if the works that are being done in this area is connected to the construction of the Science Complex or something new.

King said the installation is a conduit for the lighting in the Science Complex along with the color coding of the ground.

The tube will reroute power for lights and will reach the back of the AA Building into the boiler room.

King said it is a necessary procedure to have wires through a conduit because it protects the wires and routes them.

The National Electrical Code (NEC), which is the electrical installation code in the United States, demands that conduits used in commercial and industrial buildings must protect any wiring from damage, commonly using metal or plastic conduit, or passageways cast in concrete.

In this case, plastic conduit is being used.

Sylvester Duarte, a contracted construction worker who is currently working on the conduit, said it will be done sometime near midday Tuesday (March 5). “We plan to get the majority done today,” he said.

Students around campus have gotten used to the commotion caused by the construction. Economics major Pedro Campos said the disruption in access and loud noise does not affect his regular school day as much as it used to.

“I’ve already gotten used to it, so it doesn’t annoy me anymore,” he said. “As long as the construction doesn’t emit toxic stuff, its OK.”

Campos said he is looking forward to the campus having the new Science Complex.

“I think the new building is going to be a great addition to the college.”