The lazy days of summer were nowhere to be found in Jesse Cleveland Pearce Science Center during the past few months. Mary Baldwin launched construction on Phase I of the multi-phase project to renovate and upgrade Pearce in early June.
“The Pearce renovation project has moved at a frantic pace and an extraordinary amount of work has been accomplished this summer,” said Brent Douglass, director of facilities management, noting that the project is on schedule and there will be no unexpected disruptions in academic areas.
Returning students can find the most visible improvements to Pearce in rooms 201 and 201a. The construction team overhauled these spaces to create an environmental systems research lab and classroom. The rooms will be ready for classes August 29, inviting students into an innovative environment for new and ongoing research.
Other critical improvements were made to the physical plant, including heating and cooling, electrical, and technological systems. Summer work also included painting; replacing old cabinets, floors, and light fixtures; and installing a new water line, modified sewer line, and a new acid neutralization system. The ground floor entrance to the building will be for construction only, but all other entrances are open for use, including the new handicap ramp on Frederick Street.
The first floor of the science center will remain closed during the fall, as work continues on the animal research suite. Douglass described the continuing progress in Pearce with great anticipation, “Level 100 is changing almost daily and it is very exciting to see the new work take shape.” The first floor is scheduled for completion by the start of classes in January.