Construction Updates

May 2008

The South Wing is complete with the exception of a few odds and ends! Faculty will be moving back into the building in early June. As the move-in progresses in June, the trailers in the Thompson parking lot will be removed, the Union Avenue sidewalk will be upgraded, and the parking lot will be rehabilitated in late June or early July. South-side landscaping will likely follow that work. By fall we hope to have no indications that trailers and a construction yard were ever there!

April 2008

Floors two and three are substantially complete. The last of the cabinetry has been installed on floor one, and final painting is under way. Furniture is scheduled for delivery in May, and move in is planned for early June.

March 2008

The biology department has taken possession of the greenhouse on the roof of the East Wing, and progress is on-track for moving in during the first week of June.

Vernal Equinox
Be in the Harned Hall lobby on Thursday, March 20, at 11:55 a.m. to witness the vernal equinox on the analemma, sun willing. An overcast day means no show.

Spring Break
Water will be shut down in all of Thompson and Harned halls Monday and Tuesday March 17 and 18. Power will be completely shut down in both buildings for several hours early Monday, March 17, and sporadically throughout the buildings for the remainder of March 17 and 18. Terrazzo repair on the second floor of the East Wing lobby will be conducted during the week of March 17. Plastic sheeting will block this area off and prevent passage to the southern end of the hall. Nighttime work will commence the week of March 24.

February 2008

Walls are in place through all three floors of the South Wing. Casework, ceiling tiles, painting, and other tasks remain to finish out all floors. Move-in to this wing is scheduled for early June. The portables next to Thompson Hall will be removed and the parking lot restored over the summer.

In addition to the floor tiles on floor two that reflect the human hemoglobin sequence, Professor Peter Wimberger has added a portion of the DNA sequence of rabbit hemoglobin to the floor tiles on the second floor of the South Wing, running parallel to the end of the human sequence. Some additional character tables rendered in the floor tiles will be restored, outside the chemistry faculty offices on floor three.

Exterior work on the southeast entrance patio will require a slight expansion of the construction fencing in that area. Access to the concert hall, parking lot, and the pathway between Thompson Hall and the Music Building will require using the stairway from the backdoor of the Music Building. All points remain accessible to persons with disabilities, though getting to the concert hall will require entering off Union Avenue at the northwest corner of Thompson Hall and following the track eastward.

The exterior brickwork is also receiving a thorough cleaning, which should dramatically impact the appearance of the building.

January 2008

The internal noise level should be lower this semester, as all iron erection, jack hammering, bobcat usage and other heavy work is complete. Exterior noise levels should remain about the same.

Two new Computer Science labs have been opened on the fourth floor, but we're short a couple of class- and conference rooms as the spring term gets under way.

Holidays 2007

It's been quiet over the holidays, and the expected noise from the elevator shaft drilling turned out to be a false alarm.

Two hot water pumps were upgraded after Christmas, so reliable hot water should no longer be a problem.

Work on the South Wing continues to move smoothly, some parts even ahead of schedule. Floor 3 is starting to get floor tiles, and Floor 4 is complete wth labs for Computer Science furnished.

December 2007

Construction Progress
The anticipated diesel generator needed to create the new elevator shaft was delayed, meaning the accompanying noise has also been delayed into December, but will not impact finals.

A lack of prmopt hot water means two new, bigger pumps will be installed over the holiday break. Consequently there will be a one-day shutdown of hot water, though cold water should still be available.

The Advanced Computer lab is nearly complete. The floors will be waxed over the break, and this lab should be ready for spring term.

The exhaust fans on the north wing have been modified to reduce the noise spreading into the neighborhood, so the installation of similar equipment in the south wing should go more smoothly.

November 2007

Construction Progress
Additions to and modifications of the steel and concrete footings of the South Wing has been completed, and the roof has been sealed following the placement of the air-handlers and exhaust fans. As roofing efforts continue, the tar pits on the south side will be present into mid-November.

The installation of a new elevator in the southeast corner of Thompson Hall will require the drilling of a very deep hole beneath the elevator shaft. A noisy compressor will be operating near this corner of the building for approximately two weeks starting Monday, November 19.

Interior work continues, including a creative solution to problems moving bookcases into the Thompson tower--by taking them outside, lifting them onto the roof, and bringing them in via a fifth floor office window! Another creative moving feat, the installation of 16-foot-long blackboards (solid, with no seams) on the third floor had to be lifted in via a large hole in the eastern end of the South Wing.

The Slater Museum continues to get settled in their new space on the second floor of the East Wing, including increased accessibility to more specimens, exhibits placed in foyer display cases, and the unpacking of their library of reference books. In addition, the Kitchin Library in the northeast corner of the second floor is approximately 95 percent furnished, with about half of the books and periodicals shelved.

October 2007

Construction Progress
Work on the South Wing of Thompson Hall continues to move along smoothly. Demolition is complete, structural upgrades are underway, and the top two floors have new windows in place. The sidewalk and landscaping on the east side (between Thompson Hall and the Music Building) are both complete and open to the campus community.

The Slater Museum of Natural History has been delayed from moving into their new space in the renovated Thompson Hall by additional work on the concrete floor.

Security Services intends to implement 24/7 card-swipe access for students enrolled in classes that meet in the building.

Progress continues on the noisy exhaust fans and their impact on the fume hoods. We are currently on a 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule for using North Wing fume hoods.

Summer 2007

Oppenheimer Cafe
Oppenheimer Cafe in the Brown Family Courtyard of the Science Center will be open on Friday, August 24, for freshman move-in, and will reopen for the fall semester beginning September 4, 2007.

Thompson Hall Renovation Progress
Punchlist items and furniture-installation details continue in the North Wing. The exterior of the tower is completed and the clocks are close to being turned on. East Wing is generally on schedule, with some areas ahead (the tower offices) and some lagging slightly (south end of Floor 4). Classrooms on Floors 1 and 3 should be ready in time for Fall 2007 classes, and Floors 2 and 4 will follow in a few week's time. We expect to move into Floor 3 and Tower Math/CS offices in advance of classes with enough time for the occupants to get settled before the semester. North side sidewalk is complete and the area where this sidewalk meets Union Avenue will be landscaped shortly.

Exhaust fans on the North Wing roof have been a source of unacceptable noise, and have disturbed the neighborhood. Short-term and long-term solutions are being pursued as the highest priority by architects, engineers, contractors and consultants, and  progress is being made. These fans are related to the heating and cooling system for the building, and provide the exhaust for the fume hoods. As a result, please note that:

1. Fume hoods in North Wing are still off-limits for use, and storage, of chemicals. This is for your safety, and for the safety of those who continue to test and fine-tune this system.

2. The design, and proper functioning, of this system presumes that lab doors remain closed, in Harned and in Thompson. This is for your safety, and the comfort (cooling now, heating later) of building occupants.

Thank you for your patience on this unexpected situation, and know that a solution is a high-priority item.

Fall 2006

Harned Hall Completed
Harned Hall will open for laboratory classes on Monday, August 28, with a public grand opening and dedication ceremony on Friday, September 29, 2 p.m.

Thompson Hall Renovation Begins
Renovation of adjoining Thompson Hall began in summer 2006 and is expected to be completed in spring 2008. Some offices have been relocated to portable buildings on the Thompson Hall parking lot during the renovation.
Updated 08.16.06

Spring 2006

Harned Hall: Phase One
Harned Hall, the university's new science laboratory building, is nearing completion. Major construction is scheduled to be completed on May 19, 2006, with final details completed over the summer prior to the building's opening in August 2006. A formal dedication ceremony is being planned for Friday, September 29, at 2 p.m.

Science on Display features currently underway include:
Final detailing of the Analema and installation of mirror assembly
Whale assembly details to be finalized and whale installed
Installation of pendulum assembly in June

Thompson Hall: Phase Two
Phase two of the Science Center project, the renovation of Thompson Hall, will begin in May and continue throughout the upcoming academic year.
Updated 04.26.06

February 2006

Many "Science on Display" features are being prepared for installation in February and March, including the pendulum, analema, and whale skeleton. Other projects underway include installation of terrazzo treads on the spiral staircase and a skylight in the lobby. The installation of pavers continues on the north side of the courtyard. Landscaping work continues inside the courtyard, as well as on the south and west sides of Harned Hall. The project remains on schedule for an August opening and September dedication ceremony. The exterior is expected to be completed by May.
Updated 01.31.06

January 2006

During the next few weeks many "Science on Display" features will be prepared for installation, including the pendulum base, final detailing of the analema, and a whale skeleton. Courtyard work will continue on the north end, and site work will begin on the west side of Harned Hall. The project remains on schedule for opening in September 2006.
Updated 01.06.06

December 2005

The project continues slightly ahead of schedule. During this month, the interior electrical/mechanical fit continues, as well as finishing work in the courtyard. Generator and fume hood installations are scheduled to begin. Brickwork on the north face of Harned Hall continues, and installation of the interior spiral stair structure is nearing completion. Also inside, interior finishes are underway, including flooring, painting, ceilings and counters. This work will continue for approximately four months.

Please note that university offices will be closed December 23 - January 3, although construction work will continue. Please direct any questions or concerns during the break to the Office of Communications, 253.879.3905.
Updated 12.12.05

Mid - late November 2005

Courtyard work continues, including glazing of the gazebo. Circular stair installation in the lobby of Harned Hall is scheduled to begin, as well as brickwork on the north facing exterior wall.
Updated 11.14.05, 10:30 a.m.

Need more information?
Want to speak to someone about the construction of the Science Center? Contact Media Relations via e-mail or at 253.879.2611. Members of the media should visit the For Journalists page.