Under construction

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

The $8.5 million remodel at the Eastern New Mexico University Science Building is more than halfway complete and on schedule, according to university officials.

ENMU staff and administrators toured the building Tuesday, including the remodeled portions of the original building, which was gutted, and the new wing on the west side of the building.

“It’s nice to keep the old and the new,” remarked Patrice Caldwell, executive director of planning and analysis.

The project was funded primarily with $7 million in general obligation bonds OK’d by voters in 2004.

“It looks like there’s a lot left but there’s not,” ENMU’s Construction Project Manager Steve Collins said. “A lot of what’s left is lab equipment installation. That’s not a four- or five-week job though, it’s going to be a pretty long process installing the lab equipment.”

The building will provide cutting edge technology in its labs and classrooms, according to ENMU officials. In addition, expanded lecture hall space with three separate halls is a part of the blueprint.

Collins said besides the technology of the equipment, students will also notice a major improvement in climate control in the new building. It will also be more safety conscious in design and be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.

Energy efficient windows, extra insulation and new heating and cooling units will keep the building comfortable while saving on energy costs, according to Collins.

“It still amazes me what lengths the university goes to make their students comfortable,” said Collins, who has worked at ENMU for about a year and a half. “This building is being built in a way where we’re creating a positive atmosphere where it’s comfortable for the students.”

Collins said the roof was re-engineered to provide slope and drainage, whereas the previous flat roof tended to have water standing on it which created long-term problems.

Officials are playing musical chairs with the campuses’ buildings while a number of projects are ongoing. The scheduled fall 2008 completion of the Science Building will be just in time before students will need to be moved into other spaces as a project to reconstruct the Music Building gets under way.