The Development of The New Life and Science Building


By Karina Baxter

The New Life and Science Building under construction.

The New Life and Science Building under construction.

J. Petrocelli Contracting, Inc. became Ammerman’s official contractor for the development of the New Life and Science Building. The $26,240,000.00 project will be completed by the third week in August as reported in the Summary Minutes Of the Board Of Trustees meeting on Dec. 5.

The 64,000 sq. ft. three-story building will consist of a steel superstructure which will consume less energy than a concrete superstructure and produce four times less waste with an external cavity wall around it. The front of the building will be made of glass curtain walls with metal mullions separating the glass, brick, and aluminum panels. When the renovations of the building are completed, it will be awarded the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

“I believe that a new building will bring about new ideas within the student,” student Rich Marandola said.

There will be a new observatory students can look forward to seeing. A video wall, which consists of large screens, will be highlighted in the lobby. The $38,000 video wall will be considered a signature artifact where members can walk past and receive college related news.

A dashboard feature will also be included, allowing students and faculty members entering the building to view real time energy consumption and savings from the building and other information. The $35,600 item will be used as a teaching tool about environmental awareness since this will be a LEED building.

Many students and faculty members were curious as to what will happen to the Smithtown Science Building once The New Life and Science Building is finished.

“NOTHING will change for the Smithtown Science Bldg., but Kreiling Hall will be gutted, and renovated as general classroom space,” Academic Chair and Professor of Physics Thomas Breeden said.

With buildings being renovated and reconstructed, it will give the college a better opportunity to add more classroom space and increase the number of enrolled students.

The contracting company is in the middle of prepping an underground conduit for a photovoltaic system, along with a solar panel for the roof. Both systems will help reduce the operating costs in the future and also give a source of knowledge to members since it will also be featured on the building’s dashboard.

Some students were not as eager to hear about the new building. They were more pleased with the idea that this project was putting more people to work. Giving more job opportunities will help create a more stable economy.

“A new building doesn’t matter. It will help stimulate the economy, but as far as that goes, eh,” student Keith Gasparik said.

J. Petrocelli Contracting, Inc. has 75 full-time workers and is currently renovating and constructing four projects, including the New Life and Science Building.

Additional work, which was not anticipated under the contract, was found during construction. Eight underground drainage structures were found on Feb. 28, along with an additional two that were discovered on March 20. The total of ten drainage structures created minor changes that were reviewed by the board and will be removed in the amount of $550.

The Board of Trustees meeting also discussed construction changes that were made by J. Petrocelli. The Annex Building parking lot will be stripped and a new asphalt overlay will be put on. J. Petrocelli Contracting will be stockpiling soil for reclamation; adding existing road drainage into the site’s drainage system, and also be adding a clearing for the fence line. The additional work being put into this project is $33,887.13. The total number of minor and major changes that were created during the project have exceeded  $193,418 but is still currently within budget.

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