The 14th and final meeting for Indiana Wesleyan University’s new science building was held Jan. 26-27 by the architects, construction managers, specialists and the faculty members involved.
“We literally went through over a thousand drawings looking for problems. There has just been an incredible amount of details to finalize,” said Dr. Dennis Brinkman, professor of chemistry and associate dean of the School of Physical and Applied Sciences, “Things like colors, lighting, carpet, what tiles are going in the bathrooms … all of what you would do if you were designing a house, only on a much larger scale.”
The new building will house a portion of the nursing, natural science, math and computer information sciences divisions, as well as the new health sciences program. Design emphasis has been placed on adding laboratories, since that’s an area in which Burns Hall of Science and Nursing is insufficient. The number of nursing labs alone will be doubled, if all goes according to plan.
The next step in this process is sending the finalized plans and drawings out to be bid on by different vendors and groups who would like to participate in the construction. All bids must be in by Mar. 13.
The building committee will compile the bids and evaluate them before taking the information to the final board approval meeting in mid-April. If the board approves the final dollar allocation at that time, construction could start within a few days.
“Theoretically, you should see equipment before the end of the semester and certainly before graduation,” said Brinkman.
If everything stays on the current schedule, the new building should be open for classes by fall 2014. The plan is to have faculty offices moved there by spring 2015 to allow construction on Burns to start during the summer break.
In addition to the added master’s programs and health science initiative, the space is needed for the ever-growing nursing program. IWU sees growth in its pre-licensure, post-licensure and graduate nursing divisions each year, so the planners for this project are anticipating continued growth.
The new building will have a host of collaborative study rooms specifically built in order to promote community within the divisions and providing the students with areas to meet. Assistant Provost for Academic Support Karen Roorbach said that the project is truly in the hands of God.
“It always amazes me how God has brought together the people that need to be here, with their diverse gifts and skill sets,” said Roorbach. “Whether we’re talking about plumbing fixtures or health code requirements or the academic areas, I see individuals coming together and being committed to finding God’s best building. And I believe we’ve done that … we have every confidence that it will be what God wants it to be, and that the building is what it needs to be for the future of IWU.”