Engineering and Physics Building project underway

Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 8.56.30 PM(WITH VIDEO) – Construction is on schedule for the new Engineering and Physics Building, with the project expecting to break ground in late 2014 or early 2015.

The project is expected to take 15-17 months to complete. Students can expect to have classes in the building by the fall of 2016.

President Tim Miller said a new building is beneficial to the engineering and physics programs.

“(The building) will be attractive for the program and will help in recruiting students and employees,” Miller said.

The building will include laboratories in fluid mechanics, physics research, astronomy, physical chemistry, biology research and more. It will have lecture halls that can seat up to 150 students.

The building will be home to all of the engineering and physics offices as well as some biology and chemistry offices.

The current engineering and physics department is located in the Blackburn Science Building. Blackburn was built in 1947 and the most recent addition to the building was in 1967.

Kim Oatman, director of Facilities Management, said the construction contractor for the building is unknown at this time.

The new building is expected to cost up to $36,890,000.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is providing $31,890,000 and Murray State has committed to raise up to $5 million.

Funding for the building was officially approved by state legislation Tuesday.

Miller said students will not see a tuition increase from the new building. He said the project is still looking for donors for the $5 million the University has to raise. The University is still seeking a donor to name the building after.

Miller said it is unknown at this time what will become of Blackburn when the new building is completed. One suggestion is to tear down Woods Hall and move the operations from the building into Blackburn.

A new library annex would potentially be placed where Woods Hall stood if this happens.

Miller said another possible project to replace Woods Hall would be the construction of new sorority suites. He said The MSU Foundation has approved the hiring of a firm to evaluate the current suites on campus.

The Engineering and Physics Building has been planned since 1998 and has been a top capital construction project for the University. Now that funding has been approved, construction can move forward.

“Murray State has been very fortunate to receive a significant amount of state funding for the construction of the Breathitt Veterinary Center and the Engineering and Physics Building as well as authorization to sell bonds for a new residential college,” Oatman said. “All three of these represent a total of about $100 million of capital projects which is the most capital funding received by this institution in any single biennium.”

He said the primary focus for the University will be all three of these projects.

The plan is to locate the new Engineering and Physics Building west of North 16th Street in the area of Olive Street. It will be southeast of Jesse D. Jones Hall.

 

Story by Rebecca Walter, News Editor