Construction projects on track for summer

By Katie Zeck

While few students can say they enjoy waking up to the sound of bulldozers piling dirt or dump trucks beeping each time they go into reverse, the commotion is necessary in order for enhancements to be made to Rider University.

Construction continues at the site of the new academic building beside the library. The multimillion dollar project is on track, to be finished before the 2011-2012 academic year.

Two construction projects occurring on the Lawrenceville campus include a new academic building that is going up next to the Moore Library and the Bart Luedeke Center theater expansion. Both projects are on schedule and expected to be completed by the summer of 2011.

“There had been a few delays with the steel shipment, but that should be here by next week and then we’ll be well under way,” said one of the construction workers on site. “As of right now, everything is expected to be completed on time.”

Mike Reca, associate vice president of Facilities and Auxiliary Services, said that the construction will not have an adverse effect on students.

The new academic building will include 16 faculty offices and a lounge for the history and philosophy departments, and a total of 11 new classrooms, nine of which will be multi-purpose and two that will be seminar classrooms.  In addition to these educational improvements, a plaza will be built outside of the new academic building with places for students to sit and meet with others.

Materials for the new building lay scattered on the ground.

In the BLC theater expansion project, the stage size will be increased from 19 feet to 36 feet. Wings will be added to the sides of the stage, as well as two new dressing rooms and a green room. A freight elevator will be added and utilized for the movement of large set pieces, and the theater will now have a fly space. The entire theater will also have an updated lighting and sound system. Additionally, a new multi-purpose room will be built into the basement of the BLC.

With all the new improvements, Reca thinks the two construction projects will be truly “great for everyone.”

“We will be able to better house faculty and open up more classrooms, which will help to free up space in the Fine Arts Building,” he said, adding that the expanded BLC theater will “allow for more productions for both Rider and Westminster students.”

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