Several buildings at Slippery Rock University have been under construction for a number of weeks, affecting many of the students, faculty, and classroom sessions.
Joseph Cali, chairperson of the department of safety management said that the construction on the Safety Management Building has been going on for quite some time.
“The construction was supposed to be done July 8, and then was delayed to August, and it is still not done,” Cali explained.
He said that the department had to reschedule their classes to take place in different buildings throughout campus.
“It is hard because students are in McKay, ECB, and other buildings so we never get to see our students,” Cali said.
He also mentioned that when the entire department was in the same building that students would go to their faculty members directly after class to ask for help, but now they are so spread out, making it difficult to do that.
Cali said that there are 500 students currently enrolled in SRU’s safety management program, so he is excited to see all of the new renovations to the building.
He said that the building will have three new labs. One of them will be a general industry lab with a high-low ceiling bay. This lab will have an overhead crane, a confined space unit, and all types of machines and equipment.
Cali said that another lab will be a fire lab with hazardous management. The final lab, according to Cali, will be an industrial hygiene lab. He said that these labs will be hands-on for students.
“That is what they wanted, hands-on so that when they go for their internships or out into the workplace, they know how to operate the equipment,” Cali said.
Cali said that this project is supposed to be complete by the spring semester and that he is very grateful for administration for being supportive and for helping get some of the equipment.
Another building on campus that remains under construction is Miller Auditorium. According to the Chair of the Theater Department and Associate Professor, Rebecca Morrice, there has been construction taking place in Miller for seven years now.
“We had to move down to the University Union seven years ago and in some ways that does not affect us at all and at other times it really affects us,” Morrice said.
She said that Miller Auditorium is purpose-built and sometimes theater students need different work spaces for the plays and projects that they perform.
“The biggest problem is that the ceilings in the union are only 11 feet tall and we are used to having a big theater to work in,” Morrice said.
She said that there are certain things that cannot be done with low ceilings, but then there are things such as acting that can be done anywhere. Morrice said that the shift in location changes the types of shows that the students can do. She said that it alters the size, scale, and scope of the shows. She said that this relocation affects the design and tech students the most because they never learn things like how to use a rigging system.
Morrice said that the entire department is excited to finally see the changes.
“This is a multi-phase project with Miller Auditorium and East/West Gym,” Morrice said.
She said that these two buildings together will be called the Performing Arts Center and will benefit students in the department and also the outsiders. Morrice said that these changes are set to take place sometime in the 2019-2020 school year, so she is continuing to keep a positive attitude and looks forward to the move back up to the big auditorium.
“I feel bad for the students who haven’t had the opportunity to experience Miller, but you can’t blame anyone and we try to keep a positive mindset and just appreciate the support from administration,” Morrice said.