In a major project scheduled to break ground next month, a four-story addition to the Engineering Sciences Building will be built for West Virginia Universitys College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. The WVU Board of Governors has budgeted $11 million for the project, and WVU Facilities Management is currently reviewing bids. Funding for the project will come from a combination of University and College of Engineering and Mineral Resources funds.

The 28,000-square-foot addition will be located on the southeast corner of the building, adjacent to Parking Lot 40 and Evansdale Drive. A two-story atrium will provide an attractive, new entryway to the building, a gathering place for students and faculty and additional space for special events, such as the Colleges annual Career Fair.

Also included in the addition will be a high-tech theater-style lecture hall that will seat 150, a student learning center, state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories and office space for professors and graduate assistants. Additionally, the boiler room in the high bay area of the Engineering Sciences Building will be renovated. As part of the renovation, the old, coal-fired boiler and all unused equipment will be removed. The area will be renovated for use as office or lab space, to be determined by the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.

The total combined addition and renovation is 33,000 gross square feet.Student enrollment in our College is approaching 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and our research programs have grown steadily and significantly over the past several years,said Dean Gene Cilento.Increased enrollment and research means more people in the classrooms, the hallways and the laboratories. If we are to continue to provide a high-quality educational experience for our students, it is vital that our facilities keep pace with the growth in our academic and research programs.

The project is the culmination of several years of major investment in College facilities and technology, Cilento said. This includes the renovation of the 10th floor of the Engineering Sciences Building, the construction of the Galli and Judy Laboratories and the Shared Nanosystems Clean Room, as well as the renovation of many classrooms and laboratories. The College has also invested in enhanced technology for teaching and research within its facilities.

Over the past six years, with help from the University and support from private donors, we have invested more than $23 million in new and upgraded classrooms, laboratories and technologybut we have reached the point where we simply need more space,Cilento said.We are very grateful to the University administration and to our many private donors, whose continuing support helps us to achieve the highest standards of excellence and growth in our programs,he added.We could not have achieved the success we have without the collective support of WVU s leadership and of our College alumni and friends.

Alpha Associates of Morgantown is doing the architectural design for the project. Construction is scheduled to get under way in May and be completed by the summer of 2008.