by Cristina Farmus
This Fall marked the completion of the renovation of the old part of
Forney Hall, also known as the "old building" or the "CMET building," a
name from the time when Chemical Engineering was sharing space with
The upgrade and renovations began after a building addition was
completed in 2004. After multiple phases of construction and a renovation
price tag of the same magnitude as building the addition, all of Forney Hall
is now a modern, vibrant facility where thousands of students, faculty, staff
and visitors make strides toward our vision to continue to be among the
premier chemical engineering programs in the world.
The final phase of renovation affected over 14,500 square feet of
laboratories, offices and related space in the East wing of the building. In
preparation for construction, all occupants were relocated and decades of
accumulated equipment and supplies were eliminated. The work involved a
complete overhaul of the HV/AC system, extensive plumbing and electrical
work, and significant functional upgrades such as cabinetry, painting,
lighting and flooring.
The project addressed a dire need for more fume hoods to meet current
research initiatives in the School. The capacity in the East wing alone increased
from 24 to 38 fume hoods, and many of the new ones are walk in hoods.
The East Wing Project was financed through a $6.02 million grant from the
Discovery Learning Laboratory (DL2) Program, a Repair and Rehabilitation
component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Funds. However, the earlier renovations of the old building were a
significant financial effort for the School, made possible through generous
contributions from our alumni and corporate supporters.
The quality of the laboratory and graduate office space in the East wing puts
us at a significant competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting and
retaining the most talented faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral
research associates. Quality research space is scarce at any University; when
interviewing in our School, prospective candidates have the option to visit the
labs they will occupy upon acceptance of an offer. This new space is a major
benefit when competing among elite Chemical Engineering programs.
The earlier renovation work included renovating the Unit Operations
Laboratory, all the offices and laboratories outside the east wing, the main
office, computer laboratories, conference rooms and the only classroom
remaining in the original part of the building.
With the work in the old building complete, it is time to start renovating the
addition. Maintenance and upgrade work never stops, but it is rewarding
and stimulating to study, work, and do research in a facility that maximizes
classic, modern and functional styles.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW
Forney Hall Renovation Completed