This year, as the university began expanding, hardhats and construction crews were just as common to students as backpacks and professors. However, the scenery might be changing soon as construction is coming to an end.
The John and Marilyn Duke Academic Complex is on schedule and C.W. Drivers is working to finish its construction by the end of March. After grades are in, the Department of Religion and Philosophy faculty, along with the theology library, will relocate to the Duke.
“Weather’s been a problem, but that was anticipated so it’s been no worse than what we expected,” said Lanny Cram, manager of capital construction.
Phase one of the Duke was divided into two parts. The first part dealt with the exterior of the building, which included knocking down the existing wall of the Mary Hill Building and creating an exterior courtyard with a new curved wall. Part two dealt with the interior of the Duke and building two stories of classrooms and offices. After the construction portions are done, furniture and electrical wiring will be completed.
The Duke has been intricately designed to include 23 skylights producing natural light, faculty offices with views of the San Gabriel Mountains, S.M.A.R.T. classrooms, and breakout areas for students to wait in between classes. The building’s dedication is scheduled for May 16.
The construction of the new residence hall located across from Adam’s Hall is also going according to schedule. Commerce Construction L.P. should be done with the construction portion of the project by the end of late spring. Once school is out in May, the existing village buildings will be removed in order to create a clear space and the new residence hall will be ready for students to move into at the end of August.
The building was designed with two connectable wings, five floors each. Each floor is equipped with a meeting room, prayer room, coffee area, and community bathroom. “One of our main concerns was creating community,” said Troy Aday, university architect. “Each floor is going to have a coffee area in the middle of the corridor.”
The community bathrooms were also designed with the students in mind. Benches and lockers have been installed to reduce the hassle of toting bathroom goods on a daily basis. The two wings are connected through the fourth and fifth floors with a tile deck, complete with a laundry area.
Financial backing has been supplied for both projects. A taxable bond issue financed the residence hall. Donations funded the Duke.
Posted: February 27, 2003