Despite weather delays, the latest addition to Arkansas Tech University’s campus, Brown Hall, is expected to be completed in November 2015, well before its original February 2016 projected completion date.
CDI Contractors, the company overseeing the construction of Robert Charles Brown and Jill Lestage Brown Hall, broke ground in March 2014 and estimated it’d take 520 total construction days to complete the project.
“We knew it was going to be a twenty two to twenty four month project,” said Galen Rounsaville, Tech construction manager. “But with weather and material delivery delays, progress was slowed. It was the regular stuff we expected to happen.”
The combination of snow and rain is the main reason CDI Contractors has been slowed in terms of production.
“It was a timing factor,” said Travis Britain, superintendent for CDI Contractors. “Weather was our major downfall on production and completion.”
Expected weather delays aside, Britain said the project is beginning to come together, and he remains confident about its completion.
“We’re toward the ending stages,” said Britain. “I feel strong about the outcome—I really do.”
Once completed, Brown Hall is expected to be a focal point for Tech.
“I think this is going to be a trendsetter for the university,” Rounsaville said. “It will have the capabilities of being able to accommodate any new freshmen no matter the kind of atmosphere or high school they are coming out of.”
The university has been mindful of the future of the classroom and applied those expectations to the construction of Brown. Its ten classrooms are all being built with raised floors to accommodate computer wires that will run under the removable tiles.
“Any classroom is adaptable to any professor that walks in there,” Rounsaville said. “Every one of them is built to where we’re not being trendy, but we’re not married to any set of specific teaching methods.”
Brown Hall will also house student service facilities such as admissions, student accounts, financial aid and the registrar’s office. Other offices include human resources, payroll and budget.
“I think it’s going to be important for students, not only for their administrative things they need to do,” said David Moseley, senior vice president for administration and finance. “But I also think the classrooms are going to be state of the art, and they’re going to add a lot to the academic instruction of campus.”
Moseley and Rounsaville both expect Brown to be occupied by spring 2016.