The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building, located between 19th and Woodruff avenues, is set to be completed Oct. 1, 2014.
Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

At least one construction project on Ohio State’s campus is nearly a fourth of a year ahead of schedule.

The newly constructed Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building is set for a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 1, 2014, about three months before its original estimated completion date, said Stuart Cooper, chair of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department.

Construction began on the $126 million project, located between 19th and Woodruff avenues, in June 2012 and is largely funded by the state of Ohio. The state provided more than $67 million through capital funding, according to budget information emailed to The Lantern by Integrated Physical Planning program manager Charles Finlay.

OSU dedicated $25 million to the CBEC project from a central pool of funds senior leadership members can choose to dedicate to specific projects, while the remaining funds for the project were a blend of tuition dollars, philanthropy and grants, Vice Provost of Academic and Strategic Planning Michael Boehm said.

The new CBEC is to be a two-building structure, featuring a traditional building and a connecting tower.

The traditional building portion of CBEC will host research and computer labs, design space for chemical engineers and a 117-seat auditorium. The auditorium is scheduled to open for classes in the 2015 spring semester, Cooper said.

The tower portion of the building has six floors, five of which will house faculty and administrative offices. The sixth floor of the tower will become the Dow Student Lounge, filled with space for students to study or relax, Cooper said. Dow Chemical Co. donated $1 million to the CBEC construction project.

The connection between the two buildings will allow engineers to monitor the airflow of every floor in both of the buildings and correct any imbalances in energy usage, Susan Olesik, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, told The Lantern in February.

With the exterior completed, Cooper said the construction phase is focusing on finishing the interior of the building.

“The shell of the building is complete, now the building team is wiring the building,” Cooper said. “The steel framing for the rooms is up and the plaster walls will be put up soon.”

While the CBEC will be the new home of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, Cooper indicated that about one-third of the Chemistry Department faculty will also relocate to the new building.

It will take six months for all of the faculty members to move into the new building, Cooper said.

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.

Boehm described the CBEC as a “special building” because it is the first building to be built as part of the One Ohio State Framework Plan after the Board of Trustees approved the plan, which is a long-term planning tool to guide development on OSU’s campus, in June 2010.