Chemistry to get $27M home

After about nine years of planning and negotiations, USF will finally get a new chemistry building and new natural and environmental sciences building.
The combined project budget is expected to exceed $27 million, with construction set to begin this year and finish in 2005.
According to Mike Zaworotko, chairman of the chemistry department, the project is long overdue because the chemistry building is ìthe second-oldest building on campus and hasnít had renovations in 25 years.î
Zaworotko said the project, being handled by the Jacksonville-based construction firm of Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc., will have both ìa symbolic and a practical effect.î
One of the practical benefits of the new building and the renovations, Zaworotko said, will be the addition of new classrooms. He said this would help relieve the over crowding that has plagued the current chemistry building and add more labs equipped with newer and better technology.
The symbolic effect of the new building, Zaworotko said, is that ìit shows the commitment of the university and the state to the program,î which assists in attracting faculty and students.
Zaworotko said the construction of the new natural and environmental sciences building and the renovation of the old chemistry building will be done in a staggered manner to avoid leaving faculty and students without classroom space.
However, Zaworotko added that faculty and students could be without chemistry labs for up to six months.
In the meantime, students and faculty will be relocated to the new natural and environmental sciences building, once itís completed, while the chemistry building is being renovated.
Detailed but tentative design plans can be found on the chemistry departmentís Web site.