Center for the Sciences and Innovation to Reach Construction Milestone

Campus News

Bookmark and Share

Russell Guerrero '83
Nov. 23, 2011

Center for the Sciences and Innovation to Reach Construction Milestone

Massive building project nears completion of Phase 2 and the start of Phase 3

exterior of the CSIThe construction of the Trinity University Center for the Sciences and Innovation (CSI) will hit a milestone as Phase 2 of the multi-year project will soon reach completion.

The hub of the CSI, a new five-story wingattached to the Cowles Life Sciences building, will be finished by the end of December. New furniture and equipment are already being installed in the chemistry and biology labs in the building, which will be ready for classes at the start of the Spring 2012 semester in early January. The new CSI hub will also include general classroom space, chemical storage space, and a lecture hall.

"The faculty members of the department of chemistry are eagerly packing up their books and glassware and chemicals as we approach the move into CSI," said Steven Bachrach, Semmes Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and chair of the department.  "We are very excited about teaching in the modern labs and looking forward to changing our curriculum to reflect the direction the University is moving in with the construction of the entire CSI project."

Tied to the construction of the CSI has been the consolidation of the central plant facilities which provide heating and cooling needs for all University buildings. The consolidation of the central plant facilities, going from three facilities to two, will free up additional space for the CSI complex as well as include energy and operational savings.  

interior of the CSIOn lower campus, three new boilers have been installed in the new heating plant, called the East Plant and located next to the Witt Residence Hall. Air conditioning chillers have been installed in the new cooling plant, called the Bell Plant, which is located at the southwest corner of the Bell Athletic Center.

Both plants are scheduled to be operational and online by the beginning of January. Once the new facilities are running, the Central Plant, located by the Moody Engineering Building and which provided heating and cooling to upper campus, will be taken offline. The Central Plant will be decommissioned and readied for demolition.  Bore pits, huge holes around campus that were used to install new piping for the cooling and heating, will also be filled in and landscaped.

In February, Phase 3 of the CSI construction project will ramp up. The new phase will begin with two separate projects. The first part will be the complete renovation of the original Cowles Life Science Building.

The second part will be the demolition of the Central Plant and Moody Engineering Building followed by the construction of a new facility that will be connected to the Phase 2 addition to  Cowles. Demolition is scheduled to begin in March 2012 for the Central Plant and the Moody building with the construction of a new building to begin a month later.

During the twin construction projects, the main entrance to the new wing of the CSI will be part of the construction zone. Entrance to the new facility will be at the west or back side of the building.

 The two parts of the Phase 3 construction are scheduled to be completed in December 2013.  Once complete, the last part of Phase 3 of the construction project - a limited renovation of the Marrs-McLean Science Center - is tentatively set to occur in Spring 2013.

Construction of the CSI is the largest building project in Trinity's history. Once finished, the $108 million (excluding the $20 million central plant consolidation) integrated complex will contain about 280,000 square feet, and will lead to greater cooperation and collaboration among the departments of biology, chemistry, physics, engineering science, mathematics, geosciences, computer science, psychology, and the neuroscience program.