UTICA–Utica College administration officials look to place a new $12-14 million science facility on campus before students head to class in the fall of 2021.
“The impetus behind it is obviously growing enrollments in very identified disciplines in the sciences, and in health,” said Dr. Todd Pfannestiel, the Utica College Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The two-story (25,000-square-foot) building would connect the existing Gordon Science Center and Romano Hall, and would provide space for both science and health courses.
Utica College student Hannah Stenson (freshman) said, “if we could expand and have more students be able to learn, I think it would be easier for everybody to grasp, and to expand their own majors.”
The project was presented to the Utica city planning board last week, and is in initial planning stages; with Albany-based CS Arch hired as the architectural and engineering firm spearheading the latest effort.
Pfannestiel said “early draft plans” have been shared with the college’s administration, and a construction schedule should be complete within the coming weeks.
Plans are to break ground by mid-summer 2020, and a “soft closing date,” as Pfannestiel called it, will be prior to students’ return in the fall of 2021.
Currently, Pfannestiel indicated the cost will not be burdened by students.
“Certainly in the planning stages, this is not a building that we are putting up by adding tuition or putting this ‘on the backs of students.’ That is not, at all, in the equation.”
Utica College trustees approved the forward momentum of the project, and the institution is eyeing financing options; which includes the opportunity for bond financing, according to Pfannestiel.