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Construction delays force classroom relocation

The Business and Engineering Complex is an $86-million, 270,000-square-foot facility. The complex, now delayed to open mid-semester, was originally scheduled to open in August for the fall semester classes. Photo by William Craine.

Over the summer, Bradley University announced the Business and Engineering Complex would not open on time and all classes scheduled in the building were moved to various locations on campus.

The $86-million, 270,000-square-foot facility was originally planned to open for the fall semester of 2019 and classes were scheduled in the complex. Now, the building will not be done until Oct. 16, after students came back from the fall break.

The university Spokesperson, Renee Charles, said that the heavy rainfall in Peoria during early summer months contributed to the delay.

“We had a very tight timeline to begin with and with the overly wet summer month [it] caused some delays there,” Charles said. “The general contractor is behind and so it caused us to be delayed. It was a pretty lofty goal to begin with to be ready by Aug. 28 and, unfortunately, it didn’t work.”

Charles said the university had plans in place for this unfortunate turn of events.

“We have had plan A, B, C and so on from the very beginning just in case something might happen that would cause to delay us,” Charles said. “So yes, we have been planning on it, and with the delay now, with not starting classes in there and starting them mid-semester, we started working on that in the summer time just in case.”

Due to the delay, classes have been moved to Campustown and other available spaces on Bradley’s campus.

“Every building that had an opening was utilized,” Charles said. “There are some in different rooms in the library, some are in Jobst again, when we planned not to be using Jobst at all.” 

Some students have found it concerning that it has not been finished, and not convincing that the complex would be done by mid-semester, as Provost Walter Zakahi wrote in his email.

“I thought it would be really nice to see it before I graduate, but we’ll see if that happens,” said

Chris Campbell, senior marketing and management leadership double major. “I kind of saw the progression of the project and thought there is no possible way that they’re going to finish this big of a building in two years if they don’t subcontract the entire time and they didn’t.”

Students have adapted to the changes, but are not sure how transitioning into the new building will go.

“The hardest part is going to be having to move into the new building halfway through the semester,” Cullen Breeden, senior construction management major, said. “And getting used to a new classroom in the middle of your classes.”

The Business and Engineering Complex is now scheduled to open on Oct. 16, once students return from fall break but there are still multiple skeptics about the deadline.

“I’m hoping that it’s done by that time [Oct. 16], but I’m skeptical of it,” Campbell said. “All of the other deadlines they had stuff for and it was never finished.”

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