The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry building under construction is on schedule to be finished by October. Some students, though, said the project has been putting them out of their way or at risk of getting hurt.
The $126 million project between 19th and Woodruff avenues broke ground June 2012, and is set to stay on budget, said Stuart Cooper, chair of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department.
The project is funded by Ohio State, the state of Ohio, and fundraising on the part of the chemistry and biochemistry and chemical and biomolecular engineering departments, Cooper said.
“We’ve had to raise millions, literally, to put the whole package together, but realistically the great majority of the funding comes from the state of Ohio,” Cooper said.
The state provided more than $67 million for the project through capital funding. OSU dedicated $25 million from a central pool of funds, which senior leadership members can choose to dedicate to specific projects. The remaining funds for the project were a blend of tuition dollars, philanthropy and grants, Vice Provost of Academic and Strategic Planning Michael Boehm told The Lantern in the fall.
Cooper said a lot went into planning the project.
“We had meetings and interviews with architects for the mechanicals in the building for the construction manager,” Cooper said. “All of those elements were competed for and the people submitted bids, then made presentations, and finally a team of us picked the winners.”
Architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli designed the new CBEC, led by César Pelli, who has designed some of the world’s tallest structures including the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Cooper said faculty and staff are set to begin moving into the basement in the fall, and by Spring Semester 2015, the building should be open for classes.
Some students said they are anxious for the building to officially open because the construction could be putting them in perceived danger while they walk to class.
Lexi Aughenbaugh, a second-year in international business, said on Wednesdays and Fridays she walks past the construction site on her crutches, so every step she takes is a hazard.
“It’s really annoying because it’s really hard to navigate around what’s going on to get to the bus stop (on 19th),” Aughenbaugh said. “I know they need to be doing this construction, but there’s too much going on at once.”
Erik Herchek, a second-year in business, said he’s been annoyed by the construction because his route takes him past it five days each week.
“It feels like it’s going back and forth between opening one side of the sidewalk and closing the other one to be worked on,” Herchek said.
Despite these reported inconveniences, however, Cooper said the project is going well.
“It’s going well, it’s on time, and importantly, it’s on budget,” Cooper said.
Project managers are currently talking details for the building, including a budget for art. Artists are being interviewed to put their work in the first floor lobby area.
By January 2015, the landscaping is the only thing that is set to remain not fully finished because of a diagonal pathway that is set to be completed in early spring 2015. Cooper said the pathway will stretch from the CBEC building toward Denney Hall.
“Hopefully by early January of next year we’ll be able to teach in the auditorium we’ll have there and run our business there,” Cooper said. “That’s the goal and it looks like it’s going to happen.”