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Science center gets its last beam; Project “on time and on budget” says contractor and university



The new science center got its last beam attached to its structure on Tuesday.

Members of the campus community were invited to sign the beam with its Christmas tree and American flag before it was hoisted to the top and screwed into the structure by two brave ironworkers.

Kenneth Lemanski, vice president of advancement and university relations, spoke of the hard work done by the ironworkers and contractors who worked during the “short pockets of good weather that we had over the last couple of months.”

Elizabeth Preston, interim president, spoke of the massive amounts of people who worked together to get the project started.

Thanking the faculty who will be teaching in the building, she mentioned all of the hard work that was done to make sure that all of their needs were met before the first shovel hit the ground.

The architects, contractors, members of campus governance such as the All-University Committee, faculty, students, staff, and administration were also thanked.

After representatives of the architectural firm and the contractors spoke, Lemanski gave Curt Robie, director of capital projects and until recently, the associate vice president of facilities and operations, an opportunity to speak to all of the praise given to him by the previous speakers.

Robie spoke of the construction of Wilson Hall when he was a freshman living in Davis Hall. According to his story, him and his friends stole the ceramic blocks to make bookshelves for their rooms. Of course, they had to give them back, but the point was how long he has been involved in capital projects at this university.

Once Robie was through speaking, a last call for signatures was made.

The beam was hoisted in the air via crane and after three minutes or so, the beam was affixed to the structure.

The 54,000 square foot building will be the first academic building on the Westfield State campus in forty years. Attached to Wilson Hall, the building is expected to be open in the fall of 2016.

It will house classes dedicated to the STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics—subjects as well as Nursing and Allied Health.

The new building attached to Wilson Hall is expected to be open in the fall of 2016.

It will house classes dedicated to the STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — fields as well as Nursing and Allied Health.

The university recently hired Jennifer Hixon to lead the creation of the first public Physician’s Assistant program in New England. Hixon has experience creating similar programs at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Mass. and Springfield College in Springfield, Mass.

The advancements being made to the sciences at Westfield State only makes the new science center ever more necessary.

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