MTSU broke ground Thursday (5/3/2012) afternoon on its long-awaited $147 million Science Building. Governor Bill Haslam and State House Speaker Beth Harwell participated in the event along with several other officials and dignitaries.
L-R above photo ID: Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, state Rep. Joe Carr, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan, state Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, Gov. Bill Haslam, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, state Sen. Bill Ketron, state Rep. Rick Womick, state Sen. Jim Tracy, state Rep. Mike Sparts and state Rep. Pat Marsh. Almost obscured at far right is MTSU Student Government President Jeremy Pointer.
Readying for Spring 2012
The new science building is being constructed near the James E. Walker Library on the site of the old Wood, Felder, Gore and Clement dorms. As you recall, those are the buildings constructed in the 1960's that had problems with concrete weakening and chips were falling on students who lived there.
Governor Haslam included almost $127 million for construction of the Science Building in his 2012-13 state budget.
MTSU President Dr. McPhee said construction on the new facility is underway now and hopes to have the building ready for classes by spring 2015.
Above photo: Governor Haslem and President McPhee talk about how MTSU continues to be Tenessee's largest undergraduate instution of higher learning and how the new science building will add even more.
Video of Bround breaking
The new MTSU Science Building will provide more than 250,000 gross square feet of teaching, faculty and student research laboratories and collaborative learning spaces. At least 80 percent of all MTSU students will take at least one class in the new building.
MTSU’s enrollment has almost quadrupled in the last 43 years—from 6,779 students in 1968 to 26,442 in fall 2011—with no increase in space for science education. The university’s existing Wiser-Patten Science Hall and Davis Science Building were built in 1932 and 1967, respectively, and have a combined total of only 75,332 net square feet.
The building has long been the No. 1 priority in the MTSU Capital Outlay Funding Request, the No. 1 priority in the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Five-Year Capital Projects Plan and the TBR’s No. 1 capital project request.
About $20 million has already been spent to prepare for construction of the Science Building. That money provided for a new campus chilling plant, distribution lines, planning, site preparation and demolitions of the old dorms.