Opening date for Interdisciplinary Academic Building postponed

The Interdisciplinary Academic Building was originally set to open by the start of the 2018 fall semester.

Bisola Oke

The opening date of the Interdisciplinary Academic Building, which was previously Aug. 13, has been postponed.

An email sent by Georgia Southern advisor Cesar Maceira on Aug. 10 explained that there would not be classes held in the new building this semester. However, the following day Maceira said that there is a possibility of the building holding classes later in the semester.

Amy Ballagh, interim vice president for enrollment management, said the plan is to move into the building this fall and that faculty will inform students of any future room or building changes.

Kathryn Twining, associate vice president for facilities services, said that the delay in the opening of the IAB was caused by issues which were not expected.

“The material completion date for the IAB was July 30, 2018, with an expected opening date of Aug. 13, 2018,” Twining said in an email. “Unfortunately, there were a number of unforeseen issues during the latter part of the construction that delayed the material completion date for the building. We are working diligently with Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission and the contractor to finalize material completion so that we may open the building this fall.”

Facilities Director Matthew Shingler said the project’s contractor is addressing potential items that do not conform to the contract specifications.

Professor and student opinions

Ashlyn Turner, senior history major, said that she was not surprised by the turnout.

“I’m surprised at how much work they got done over the summer,” Turner said. “They didn’t start clearing out this building until like last spring semester so I’m not surprised.”

Nathan Carpenter, sophomore triple major in international studies, economics and aerobics, said he was disappointed that the opening date was delayed.

“I was very disappointed since last semester they had promised we’d be in there at the beginning of this semester,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said he believes this indecisiveness would affect both the students and teachers.

“Having to move in the middle of the semester could disrupt things with the professors and by the time we move to a new place, there’s always unexpected challenges and disruptions,” Carpenter said.

Craig Roell, a professor in the history department, said he has spent 24 years in Forest Drive and was ready to move out.

“I’m a little sad but I didn’t get upset or mad because I mean these things happen. Construction can have delays. I’m sad because we’ve been in this building for 24 years and I’m tired of it,” Roell said. “All of us, our excitement is built up and we wanted to go and we’re all packed. It’s sort of like we get to go on a vacation but now it’s delayed.”

However, Roell does not think this situation will affect his teaching at all.

“If I was teaching in a cave, I would still make my best effort for my students. The building itself is not the thing, it’s the teacher in the room. My students are going to be fine,” Roell said.

History professor Robert Batchelor said he understands the situation.

“I’ve worked with buildings before so I know there are delays, both on small projects and really large projects, so it wasn’t that unexpected. On the other hand, I had made plans to basically be in there,” Batchelor said. “It’s a big complex building and I expect that there are details on the building that needs to be fixed and that has happened on big complex projects like this.”

Any inquiries about the building should be directed to GS Facilities Services at (912) 478-5558.

Bisola Oke, The George-Anne News Reporter, [email protected]