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Construction in Pell Hall Disrupts Classes

By Jada Butler
News Editor

On Thursday, March 19, facilities services began a reconstruction project of a classroom that wasn’t meant to begin until the end of the spring semester. The early demolition of Pell Hall room LS20 disrupted several classes that were still meeting there. After complaints from students and faculty, facilities services allegedly restored the classroom to its former condition, effective Monday, March 26.

Photo by Jada Butler
As of April 3, room LS20 in Pell Hall has not been restored.

After an investigation of the area in question, the Pioneer discovered that the room LS20 was in fact, not restored.

“That room was slated for construction at the end of the semester – it was a mix up,” Roy Fergus, director of facilities services, said. “There was demolition done there, and we needed four days to reset it – which we did.”

Students questioned why the construction was being done in the first place. “To frame where LS20 ended up having to be reconstructed, we are in fact doing a project that’s important for accreditation purposes,” Fergus said.

The reconstruction project was ordered to begin by university President Kimberly Cline at the end of the semester to create a space for the new veterinary technology program beginning in fall 2018. Space in room LS02 will be reconstructed to be a multipurpose laboratory and classroom for the vet tech students to work in, according to Stacy Gropack, dean of the college of health professions and nursing.

Facilities services is beginning to organize projects for the summer. “The areas identified for vet tech are ready, meaning we have fully vetted the process – we won’t have any more mistakes,” Fergus said.

“The space (LS02) is being outfitted with tables and chairs, countertops and areas for equipment that will be needed for the veterinary technology students, as well as offices for the faculty,” Gropack said. “We will have the most sophisticated equipment to assure that our students will be exposed to the most up to date technology in order to be successful as veterinary technologists.”

The equipment for the vet tech program will include anatomical animal models, anesthesia machines, centrifuges, clinical chemistry and blood analyzers, microscopes, simulation models, ophthalmoscopes, and pulse oximeters.

The construction for the vet tech program and facilities services’ other summer construction projects will begin the day after the Commencement Ceremony. “Our plan is to be ready for the fall,” Fergus said. While the vet tech program will be working primarily out of LS02 and with local animal shelters and pet hospitals, Fergus said that there were other projects set in other buildings for a veterinary science school, but did not disclose which buildings those were.

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