Science structure enters third phase of construction


Cindy Pantoja / The Advocate

Work on the construction site for the new Science Complex remains at a standstill awaiting the rainy season.

By Wanda Gonzalez, Advocate Staff

After months of enduring dust and limited campus access, the new state-of-the-art $68 million Science Complex project is pushing full speed ahead toward its construction stage.

Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said the first two stages are finished, which included the demolition of the old building and getting the foundation ready by leveling the dirt and bringing in utilities.

They’ve already awarded the construction contract and have been given the approval to proceed with construction.

BHM Construction is set to start sometime this month, but since the rainy season is approaching, there may be some delays.

If there are no major delays, the building should be completed by 2022.

King also said the science departments are great departments but have the oldest buildings on campus, so it’ll be nice for them to have a better facility.

Students and professors are eagerly waiting for the new and expanded space.

Chemistry lab coordinator Akwoung Saechao said they’ve been needing a new building for years.

Saechao said the Physical Science Building which houses the chemistry classes doesn’t comply with modern safety standards.

The fume hoods are old and not chemical resistant; there’s only one room with a hood sash, which is necessary when making chemical reactions; there is no stockroom; and there is no air conditioning.

He said the current building is falling apart, and that the new building will fix all their problems.

Many students and teachers said they feel the construction is taking too long.

Stephany Martinez, a chemical engineering major, said the construction is taking forever.

“I want to see it, but I don’t think I’ll be here by the time they finish it,” Martinez said.

The current science buildings are outdated, so this new building will definitely give the campus a better feel, she said.

Biology major Marissa Tran said she’s looking forward to more tables in the classrooms and more rest rooms.

“There are only three stalls, while other bathrooms have like 10,” Tran said.

The astronomy, engineering, physics, chemistry and biology departments will be housed in the new science complex.

Chemistry co-chair Leslie Alexander said she’s excited to for all the science departments to be together in one building.