Engineering Shares Plans For New Building

Campus can expect a new engineering building and new faculty members in the near future

By Luis Montoya
On March 10, 2016


  With the new civil engineering program being established at ASU last fall, engineering students and staff are excited about the new civil engineering lab expected to open in the fall of 2017.  Construction of the Hunter Strain Lab was made possible through an anonymous donation of about $4 million. 
The lab is named after Hunter Strain, a transportation engineer who was a key part of building the highways in West Texas. There was an anonymous donor funding the building who was a friend of Strain. “We are very fortunate to be receiving this donation,” said Dr. William Kitch, professor and department chair of the civil engineering program. “We are definitely growing here in the engineering program.”
   The single floor, 9,000 square-foot building will be located on 2333 Vanderventer, between the Vincent Nursing-Physical Science Building and Roscoe’s Den. Rick Stinnett will be the project manager and Kinney Franke Architects, Inc. as the architect for the project. The building will include five labs: a Geotech lab, a hydraulics lab, the water and waste lab, a material lab for concrete and steel testing and a students’ lab.  
   So far, geotechnical site investigation and boarding has been done for the building and the site has been surveyed. Construction is expected to start in the summer. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for the beginning of June. In the meantime, the engineering graphic and design class will have the opportunity to design a layout for the building and the architect will come to the class to talk to them about the architecture. “I am excited for the process of the construction, especially the Geotech lab since I am a geotechnical engineer,” Kitsch said. “This building will be the focal point for the engineering program and attract more students. Also, it will have a lounge for students to hang out. The building can also be a place for non-engineers to visit, maybe even have students display art.”  
   Kitch says with the new building, new staff members will be added to the engineering program.“I think it’s a great idea that we are getting an engineering building being built,” said Caleb Miller, a civil engineer major and sophomore. “I’m super grateful to all of the people who contributed to the program that will allow us to have it. Also, I think it will be a huge benefit, especially as we get students into upper-level classes. Any time you have a facility dedicated to a particular type of training, the students will get more out of it.”

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