Photo Courtesy of Cleveland State University Architect

An artist’s rendering of the new engineering building incorporates space from the existing Chester building. The new facility should be open for classes in December 2017.


March 28, 2016

New engineering building scheduled to open in 2017

The Washkewicz School of Engineering, and its headquarters, Fenn Hall, will be expanded in the next year, incorporating space now occupied by the Chester Building, which will be demolished by the end of the semester to make way for the new addition to Fenn Hall. The new facility is expected to enhance the learning experience for engineering majors at Cleveland State University, explained Jack Baumann, senior project manager at Cleveland State.

Not only will the structures receive a facelift to match newer buildings like the Student Center and the Center for Innovation in Medical Professions, but the extra 100,000 square feet will provide room for new equipment to provide more hands-on experience, according to Baumann.

“It will house a new ‘maker space’ where students can learn in a collaborative lab with equipment such as 3D printers, wood-working equipment and other hand tools,” Baumann said. “Also, there is a Parker Hannifin Motion and Control Lab, general classrooms, flexible simulation labs for computer modeling and programming, as well as teaching labs.”

A collaboration area, where students can comfortably study and work in a non-classroom environment will have the convenience of technology as well, Baumann explained.

This $46.2 million project was originally a modest project, but through generous gifts of donors like Mr. and Mrs. Washkewicz, the State of Ohio, and Cleveland State contributions, it evolved into what it is today.
As this project is very technical, Cleveland State is collaborating with CBLH Design and Harley Ellis Devereaux Architects, who have experience with buildings like this.

“The construction manager for the building is Gilbane Building Corp, [which] will manage the construction and hire all the subcontractors needed to perform the work on site,” Baumann said.

Fenn Hall will not be completely reconstructed, as minor changes will be made on the north side of the building to better connect the Chester Building — the new addition — to it, he said.

None of the classes in Fenn Hall will be affected throughout construction, but the departments situated in the Chester Building will be redistributed throughout campus when demolition begins at the end of the semester.
“The departments in Chester that are moving are the College of Social Work, Psychology Department, CLASS Advising, and Anthropology,” Baumann said. “They will be moving to areas in Rhodes Tower, Main Classroom and the Union Building.”

The completed and updated Engineering Building is expected to be unveiled in December 2017.


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