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November 13, 2000

Science 2000-Phase II, arts center underway

By Eric Rangus

Two high-profile capital projects, Science 2000-Phase II and the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, enter the construction phase this year with plans to be completed and open in time for the fall 2002 semester.

The arts center broke ground last month. Science 2000-Phase II will do so in January, but some of the initial work on the site will begin in the coming days.

“One of the things we try to do is minimize disruption to the University; that’s critically important,” said John Fields, director of project management and construction. Therefore, one of the main focuses of both projects is to minimize the mixing of campus personnel and students and construction equipment.

Because of both buildings’ locations on the Emory perimeter, construction traffic on campus will be minimal. Trucks will enter the arts center site from North Decatur Road, then exit on Fishburne. For Science 2000, a thruway will be opened from Oxford Road across a small portion of the B. Jones parking lot.

In fact, parking is where the most significant, immediate impact will be. At the arts center, about 50 spots in the Fishburne Deck were lost. Re-striping at the deck actually saved 25 other spots that would’ve gone away, according to Parking Director Bill Collier.

At Science 2000, more than 122 parking spaces will eventually disappear, Fields said. The first 20 (located in a carpool lot adjacent to B. Jones) will be eliminated today. Later in November and into early December, the B. Jones lot will lose a total of 37 parking spots. In early January 2001, Dowman/Dickey Drive will be converted to a two-lane road with no off-street parking, resulting in the loss of 65 spaces.

The first phase of Science 2000-Phase II construction began last week. Electrical equipment on the north side of the B. Jones lot was fenced off, and the installation of a card reader began on the lot’s south side. That will open the visitor lot to employee parking. The stairway leading from Dowman/Dickey to the B. Jones lot also will disappear within the next week.

In December, stormwater and utility work will begin on Dowman/Dickey, as well as a realignment of the Dickey Drive/Pierce Drive corner, and the road will remain open for the duration. Eventually, once Science 2000 is completed, the layout of Dowman/Dickey will have moved about 50 feet to the north.

Part of this early work will require movement of a transformer in the B. Jones building. The bulk of this effort should be finished by the first week of January. During this time the building will run on a temporary generator.

Aside from construction, Science 2000-Phase II will occupy a significant place on campus.

“This building will have a dramatic impact on the college,” said Rosemary Magee, associate dean of the college. “It will be a state-of-the-art facility for faculty research and teaching.”

Indeed, one of the building’s most significant impacts will be in geography. In addition to a new home for environmental studies, the complex will house chemistry, physics and mathematics and computer science, college departments currently spread around campus. Being located in the same building will also provide easy opportunities for collaboration, Magee said.

The eventual move of those departments also will instigate a domino effect in the college. “Spaces currently occupied will provide growth space for other college programs [when vacated],” Magee said.

Once completed, the $39.6 million, 136,400-square-foot facility will be a unique addition to campus. It will be located in the middle of an Emory hub: among the Administration and B. Jones buildings, White Hall and the soon-to-be-completed Emerson Hall (Science 2000-Phase I).

Its construction will match much of Emory’s oldest architecture, yet its interior will include some of the newest technology available, including state-of-the-art, multimedia classrooms, laboratory facilities and a planetarium. The top floor also will feature roof access for environmental studies experiments.

“The building meets the vision of the campus master plan, at a scale approachable
to that of its neighbors,” said Chip Bullock, capital program manager.

Because of the hilly area where it will be located, the building will feature entries on both the second and third floors. It will be separated into three wings, giving the facility a U-shape.

“The design allows the building to wrap around the woods,” Bullock said. Bullock said 55 percent of the trees in the construction area will be untouched. Several others will be replanted, and a grassy area off Oxford Road will be reforested.”

Environmental issues were paramount in the building’s design. Two members of the University Senate Committee on the Environment sat on the building committee.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with people who have great expertise on environmental issues,” Fields said. “They are part of the solution. The building is as it is due in large part to their involvement. They helped us maximize the tree stand and minimize the impact of the site.”


Back to Emory Report Nov. 13, 2000