When students return to campus in the fall things in the Northeast part of campus will look quite different. Construction on the Biology Engineering and Psychology Building will begin this summer with the demolition of Papazian Hall, which will start a game of musical chairs where departments will hoping buildings as construction is completed.
“In preparation for the demolition of Papazian Hall this summer, the Psychology Department and some of the Engineering Department’s shops will move in May to the newly completed Whittier Hall, behind the Lang Center on Whittier Place,” said Jan Semler, Director of Capital Planning and Project Management.
Semler stressed that the BEP shows the college’s commitment to interdisciplinary programs and the college’s unique integration of engineering into the liberal arts curriculum.
“The three departments have outgrown their space in Martin Biological Laboratory, Hicks Hall, and Papazian Hall, respectively. Despite periodic capital investments in the existing buildings, all three departments need new space to meet their curricular needs and the research interests of the faculty,” said Semler.
The building will replace Hicks and Papazian Halls and will be finished in 2020, with part of the building, hosting the entirety of the engineering department and parts of the psychology and biology departments, opening in 2019.
“Hicks and papazian have a lot of historical significance so their destruction does sadden me. However, I’m more upset that the BEP building won’t be completed until we are long gone. The addition of a large common space near the center of campus will help to alleviate the current overload on sci and kohlberg,” said Max Barry ’19 who is double majoring in engineering and art, “The construction will also allow for the, much needed, expansion of the CS department. There is definitely a need for a community makerspace open to all students and the addition of a new engineering building will foster that need.”
In addition to the new lab and classroom spaces the building will also add the John W. Nason Garden and terrace.
“[The terrace] will [provide] shaded seating for informal gatherings, outdoor study and relaxation. A grill area at the edge of the garden is expected to become a popular gathering spot for faculty, staff and students in BEP, Beardsley, Pearson, and Trotter Halls,” said Semler.
The destruction of Pappazian this summer and Hicks following may put classroom pressure on other near by buildings such as Beardsley which hosts the Art and Art History departments.
Despite the increased pressure the building may see on classroom space Barry believes that having more people in the building may benefit the departments.
“I think the exposure to student art that is frequently displayed in Beardsley will be a positive effect of any classes that are moved into the building while BEP is constructed,” said Barry.
After the BEP is completed the Art department will move to Whittier Hall and philosophy will move into Beardsley.