New science building under construction on UWF campus

By Anna Smith
Staff writer

A new Lab Sciences Annex building is being built at the University of West Florida on the south side of campus. Construction began in November and is expected to be completed by Summer 2019, in time for Fall 2019 classes.

The new building will connect to the existing laboratory science building (Building 58) and will be labeled as Building 58C.

“The planned building will be approximately 53,000-square-feet in size. The building will have two floor levels, plus a mechanical basement level,” Mel Manor, the director of Facilities Planning and Construction at UWF, said. “The new building will house the biology and chemistry departments, and will include teaching wet laboratories, laboratory support spaces, student study spaces, seminar rooms and offices.”

Construction of a new science building, to be labeled 58C, began in November and should be complete before Fall 2019 semester. (Photo by Anna Smith)

The overall project budget is $27 million. The majority of the funding for this new building comes from the state of Florida.

The budget includes everything from construction costs, site work, utilities infrastructure, design and engineering fees, permitting, inspections, surveys, materials testing, furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Caldwell Associates Architects of Pensacola and Perkins+Will of Atlanta and Miami are the architects overseeing this project. Greenhut Construction Company is managing the construction.

“The building is being constructed utilizing sustainable design features with numerous passive and active strategies to optimize energy performance,” Manor, said. “It’s projected to achieve U.S. Green Building Council L.E.E.D. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.”

Some students are concerned about the issues this new building could cause.

The overall project should cost $27 million, says Mel Manor, director of Facilities
Planning and Construction at UWF. (Photo by Anna Smith)

“I understand them expanding the science building just because it also does hold general classes, so quite a few more people go there versus communication students since its such a select major, but at the same time we only have the one lecture room, and I feel like we could use major updating in the classrooms themselves,” CiCi Conlon, a communications major at UWF, said. “I’d imagine with the building expanding they will be adding science programs, I’m sure the possible new classes would bring a lot of new students and the parking situation will get even worse. I mean parking is already one of the biggest issues on this campus.”  

Contact Mel Manor at 474-2938 for more information about the project.

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