The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

$750,000 Still Needed for Construction Management Building

A rendering of the proposed construction management building. Source: David Dubbelde

Morgan Golliver, News Editor

Since 2009, the construction management program has been located in the basement of Hubbard Hall, but the program will soon be getting its own building in 2019.

The construction of the new building is scheduled to begin around March 2018. But, David Dubblede, the director of Construction Management at Utica College, said this date may change.

“The plan is to start construction this March and finish in September 2019, but we are still waiting for federal funding, so the start of construction could be subject to change,” Dubblede said.

While the funding still remains an issue, UC and its plans for the construction management building received a boost after it was announced through President Laura Casamento’s office that the Mohawk Valley region received $85.5 million in awards through Regional Economic Development Council funding for more than 100 projects — including $700,000 in funding for the construction management building. The additional funds will cover 20 percent of the $3.52 million fundraising goal set by the college for the project.

George Nehme, the vice president of advancement, has been in charge of the funding of the building since the spring of 2016 and said that there are two main sources that help cover the cost.

“One is private philanthropy, so that includes Mr. Gary Thurston, who’s making the largest single gift of $1 million, but other alumni, mostly graduates of the construction management program, and individuals directly involved in the construction management industry advisory committee have really played a leading role,” Nehme said. “Secondly, we have some modest private foundation support, including a contribution from the JM MacDonald Foundation. We currently have an application pending before the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA), and we are waiting to hear a decision from them.”

Nehme said when the decision comes in from the EDA construction may begin, but only if the college raising the remaining funds.

“When we have 100 percent of the construction budget committed, either given in cash or pledged, the board will authorize us to proceed what they refer to in the construction management industry as ‘shovels in the ground’ or in other words, begin the construction project,” Nehme said. “We are getting pretty close, but we’re still about $750,000 away. We’re optimistic that in the next month in a half or two months we will get to that objective, and then we can proceed with the actual construction project.”

As reported by The Tangerine last semester, the construction management building will be located next to Hubbard Hall — Dubblede said students and staff can currently see the stakes in place of where the building will be once it’s built.

“There are five stakes in the ground; the four corners of the building and one in the middle,” Dubblede said. “Structural engineers have also taken soil boring of the foundation where they drilled the soil and sent it back to the lab, which helps determine the proper design of the building.”

The soil test results came back that there were no issues and the building will be in a consistent design similar to the other buildings on campus, except Dubblede said that the new building will offer more space and activity than the program has had in the basement of Hubbard Hall.

“There will be offices for staff and administration, classrooms, an auditorium and labs, including a material lab that will allow us to bring in bigger displays such as windows, doors and walls,” Dubblede said. “The building will be a better venue for the transfer of knowledge for students and it’ll also be cost saving to the college as we can get people to come here instead of have to travel to them.”

Sophomore Alexis LaQuay is waiting in anticipation for the new lab the most as it will provide more space.

“I am mostly excited about new computers to come in the new building and having more space,” Laquay said. “The CM lab is sometimes cramped when a lot of people are in there. We need the lab the most because they need to be able to talk to one another and lay their plans out. I also am looking forward to getting another full time teacher with the new building. Dr. D and Dr. Todorov teach a lot of classes. We have around four adjunct professors that help out also, but the teachers switch sometimes.”

Dubblede also said during the construction about half of the building will be exposed, so students will be able to see what the process is like.

Sophomore Michael Delia is looking forward to watching the construction take place in the course of the next few months.

“Construction management students are wired differently, most people can not wait for the building to be done, but I feel like I speak for a lot of us when I say although we are excited to get into the new building and work towards our degree we are most excited to be out there for class during the construction of it,” Delia said. “We love to see buildings go up, we love to see nothing turn into something. More specifically, the new building will help us overcome the problems we have.”

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