Friday March 18, 2011

Area Campus Continues Construction Boom

SUNY Oswego School of Education renewal project to ramp up

    A three-year series of projects to renovate and expand buildings to house all six departments of the SUNY Oswego School of Education will start taking shape this summer.

    School of Education personnel, classrooms and labs are on the move, part of a relocation plan which by fall 2014 will have helped pave the way for a modernized, larger home for the school.

    Phase I is under way. Park Hall on SUNY Oswego's east campus will empty, now through the end of the summer, for two years of renovations.

    A 13,700-square-foot addition will rise on the north and west sides of the adjacent Wilber Hall. Temporary technology labs are taking shape in the lower levels of Wilber and Service Building 20. Hewitt Union, a sturdy linchpin of surge space, prepares to receive two School of Education departments for temporary stays on the west campus.

    Yet the curriculum and programs of the School of Education will go on, and excitement abounds for a reinvention and addition of spaces for the flagship discipline—teacher education—that prompted the college's founding 150 years ago.

    "Every program is going to remain intact through the construction phase, every department stays whole, all programs will continue to be delivered," said Dan Tryon, assistant professor of technology and the shepherd for School of Education relocations. "Some of the surge space we're building now will be improvements over the facilities we now have. And they will be even better when we come back to our final home."

    Local company gets bid

    PAC & Associates, an Oswego general contracting firm, recently was awarded the Phase I construction bid for the School of Education, including an airy, 1.5-story addition to Wilber and a new field placement office.

    "Thirteen general contractors bid it," said Tom Simmonds, associate vice president for facilities. "It was a very good bid for the campus. The low bid of $5.8 million was about 7 percent under estimate for the project, which continues a trend."

    Tryon said all departments of the school—technology, curriculum and instruction, vocational teacher preparation, educational administration, counseling and psychological services and health promotion and wellness—subscribe to the mantra, "Curriculum should drive facilities, not facilities drive the curriculum." So all have worked to prepare substantial upcoming changes to programs and offerings.

    Sciences link

    One of the driving forces for the modernization of the School of Education has been the new home rising next door to Wilber for the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. The plans for education's own complex—designed by Bergmann Associates of Rochester and architects SHW Group of Detroit—link Wilber Hall with the sciences addition, and Wilber even more strongly with Park Hall, with a new three-story connector whose first floor will offer a new main entrance for the school.

    Tryon pointed out that pedestrians along the sciences-education connector will see a glassy, glittering new field placement office for the School of Education.

    "That is sort of our storefront," Tryon said. "That's what we do. We prepare teachers, administrators, counselors and other professionals, and we put them out into the field. It's going to become our dramatic, front-door service. That becomes our active hub of the future, as we see it."

    'Showpiece' lab

    Judith Belt, interim chair of the technology department, said on the north side of the sciences-education walkway, visitors will see the glass-sided, state-of-the-art manufacturing lab. Another lab in the new addition will house materials and fabrication.

    "For students coming into the school, it's going to be very exciting. It will be a showpiece," she said.

    Susan Camp, associate professor of vocational teacher preparation and co-chair of the Campus Concept Committee, said SUNY Oswego and the SUNY Construction Fund will ultimately provide about $170 million for the sciences and education complexes and exterior renovation of historic Sheldon Hall. She said they have worked well together to keep these projects moving forward in a tough economy, bringing some 350 much-needed construction jobs to the region.

Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 164

Issue 164
October/November 2019

Cover Story

  • Cruse Control
  • Jeff Cruse takes over as top leader for Novelis’ Oswego Works


Linda Eagan

On The Job

What type of marketing do you find most effective?

Success Stories

The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County

My Turn

Why President Trump Won’t Admit Mistakes


News Briefs on Local Businesses & Business People

Economic Trends

Oswego County IDA Recapitalizes Popular Loan Program

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Rodmon King