05/02/06 — College's new buildings should be done by fall

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College's new buildings should be done by fall

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 2, 2006 1:53 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College officials and their architects expect three new buildings to be finished in time for fall semester.

Bam Allen, the college's vice president for finance, recently took eight of the college's 15 advisory committee members on a hard-hat tour of the new buildings.

The committee was formed in September to advise the School of Business, which will be housed in one of the new buildings, and to help the college find new scholarships and other sources of money.

One of the new buildings, connected to the Moye Library, will allow for expansion of a two-story lobby and additional books upstairs. The library's new charge desk will be in the downstairs lobby adjacent to a hallway lined by offices, classrooms and computer labs.

"We'll have the first computer lab that will never be used for classes. Students won't have a class bumping them out," Allen said.

The Communications Center, as yet unnamed, will enable the college's six locations to function as a single institution through a state-of-the-art delivery system that includes video conferencing, video streaming and wireless networks.

The center will house all of the college's servers, Internet connections and be the central hub for the new IP telephone system. There will be offices and work areas for Information Technology and for Institutional Planning and Research, as well as a computer lab on the ground floor that will accommodate 20.

Next door will be the new W. Burkette and Rose M. Raper Academic Center. The building will house the School of Business, the Lois G. Agribusiness Center and the Department of Science and Mathematics.

A room next to the lobby will be a gathering place for conferences, forums, training meetings and workshops, with a capacity of 500. This room is not for fine arts; it's strictly for presentations, Allen said.

Beyond the lobby are offices for the agribusiness center and the business school and more classrooms. The idea is to keep the classrooms small, he said.

Construction Administrator Charles King, who oversees these three buildings and nine others for DFWA Architects, discussed the high-tech heating and air conditioning system.

There is easy access to view any classroom in the building via computer, including what the temperature is in each, he said.

The building will contain 16 offices, 21 classrooms and the new student lounge, which will have a private patio with pierced brick screen.

This new $8.1 million, 46,218-square-foot complex will double the college's current classroom space.

The third building is the Pope Wellness Center beside the Kornegay Arena. The 23,500- square-foot, $2.3 million building will house Student Health Services, an aerobics and cardio fitness area, an expansive weight room with free weights and weight machines, dressing rooms and an intramural sports center.

The building will also feature a reception area, and student health records will be kept there.

The wellness program will include exercise testing and prescriptive fitness programs, personal fitness plan development, stress management activities and seminars, general health screenings and health fairs. The wellness center will have examination rooms, storage for crutches and wheelchairs and a nutrition center.

Personal trainers will be on hand to work with faculty, staff and students, and the intramural gym has a full-size basketball court and room for volleyball and badminton.

"I feel we've given them a product that will benefit them for years to come," King said of the projects.

He said he anticipates the three buildings will be completed at around the same time, sometime over the summer.