With most students away for the summer, Binghamton University is doubling down on construction work on campus.
Currently, the University’s website lists 19 construction projects set to be implemented this summer, ranging from walkway replacements, dorm renovations and sign installations to a 4,600-square-foot addition to the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C4), finishing work on the new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SOPPS) building and renovating the former Endicott-Johnson Corporation, previously a shoe and carton factory, which will house the future location of BU’s Decker School of Nursing.
The majority of these projects will be completed by the time students return for the fall semester, including the SOPPS building, which started construction in 2016, and Seneca Hall of College-in-the-Woods (CIW), which began renovations last year.
According to James “JJ” Brice, the associate director of operations and crisis for Residential Life, his department and Physical Facilities are currently working together to renovate one CIW building per year.
“We are working our way through the ‘Upper CIW’ buildings as they are all over 40 years old and due for maintenance and updating,” Brice wrote in an email. “The current, tentative plan is to continue with Oneida [after Onondaga], beginning renovation next August or September to be re-opened [in] August 2020. Mohawk is not in the plans for renovation, as it was built in 2000, and has modern infrastructure.”
Renovations for the residence halls include new overhead lighting in student rooms, upgraded electrical systems and refurbished bathrooms.
According to Ryan Yarosh, senior director of media and public relations for BU, the University is also working to install security cameras in residence halls currently lacking them and add panic buttons in resident assistant and residential director offices.
“This summer, approximately 160 cameras will be installed in residence halls that currently have no camera coverage, [including] Hinman, Hillside, Susquehanna and the CIW buildings that have yet to be renovated,” Yarosh wrote in an email. “During the fall semester, we will upgrade older cameras in residence halls that already have camera coverage.”
An app for Alertus, the University’s newest addition to its notification system, will also be operational by late summer. Alertus allows dispatchers to send generic messages about incidents and crimes on campus, and is intended to speed up communication between officials and students in emergency situations.
Other large-scale projects, such as the C4 addition and renovations for the new Decker School of Nursing, are expected to be completed by fall 2019 and fall 2020, respectively. Bidding on those projects is expected to begin this summer. According to Karen Fennie, communications specialist for Physical Facilities, construction only starts after contractors bid on a project, with the lowest bidder winning the contract.
Although the Decker School of Nursing is currently housed in Academic B, it will move to the former factory building after renovations are complete. This will allow the school to join the new SOPPS building on an 8-acre health sciences campus being developed in Johnson City.
The campus, located near United Health Services Wilson Medical Center and Lourdes Hospital, is also expected to host other health care-based organizations and high-tech businesses.