Progress is approaching important benchmarks on two Wallace State building construction projects. The completion of the new 15,000 square-foot academic building is in sight, and the 4,000 to 5,000 square-foot addition to the existing technical building on Second Avenue East is already started – as dirt is now being moved.
“We’re looking at the end of February for construction of the academic building to be complete,” said Oneonta city manager Ed Lowe. “The city still has some additional work to do after that in the way of additional paving and parking space that’s not part of the construction job, but the building proper should be complete,” he said. He said that it will easily be ready for classes for the summer term of 2019.
Most of the exterior work on the building is done. Only a bit of the metal roofing and the brick facing on the long Ingram Avenue side of the building remain. Inside, some of the painting and tile work have been done, Lowe said, but much finishing work remains. Exterior lighting, finishing of the parking lot, and landscaping also remain to be done.
When complete, the academic building will house four classrooms and four laboratories. Two of the labs are computer labs, and two are wet labs – one fully equipped for chemistry and related courses, and one for somewhat less intensive courses such as nursing and anatomy labs. In addition, the building will contain administrative and office spaces, a break room, and a conference room, Lowe said.
“I’m pleased with it, so far,” Lowe said. “The exterior captures what we had in mind, which was to take some cues from the old railroad depot and pay homage to that part of our history. The building itself sits right on top of the old railroad bed, and it’s very close to the site of the depot itself. I think it adds to our skyline, particularly as you approach coming up Ala 75 from the south, and complements the whole area. “ Technical building, buildings?
What about the technical building addition? “We’re moving dirt on the site today (Monday), and I’m supposed to meet with the architects next week to work on planning details for the addition,” Lowe said. He said the first addition will provide space to expand welding classes and machine shop-type instruction.
First addition? What’s this about a first addition? Does that mean there’s already a second addition being considered? “Well, there might be,” Lowe said cagily.
“I’ll just say that there’s a bright future for Oneonta’s relationship with Wallace State. They’ve been over here during construction of the academic building and they’re very happy with it and looking forward to getting into it as soon as possible. Exactly what the next step is beyond the technical building addition will be dictated by the response from the community as far as continuing need. Indications so far are that the need is such that we’ll likely always be trying to keep pace or catch up with it. And that’s not a bad problem to have,” he said.