The long-anticipated opening of the Business and Engineering Convergence Center has once again been delayed.
At the University Senate meeting yesterday, university president Gary Roberts provided an update. He said the majority of Foster College of Business faculty and staff will begin moving in next week instead of this week.
“[The move in for the business college] will begin next week, and the engineering the following week. That’s the current plan,” Roberts said yesterday at the meeting. “But my 5 o’clock [meeting] this afternoon, and that may be changed.”
According to an email sent to all students last Thursday, the convergence center was planned to open for the faculty and staff of Foster College of Business to move in during the week of Oct. 14. The faculty and staff of Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology were scheduled to move during the week of Oct. 28.
University spokesperson Renee Charles said it is a flexible situation and no dates are being set as work is still being done.
“Crews continue to finish their work on a variety of things,” Charles said on Wednesday. “There are no specific dates or deadlines set for completion of the move because flexibility is necessary at this point.”
Ron Martinelli, a senior accounting major, stated his doubt that the building would be done this semester.
“Due to the constant uncertainty and dates being pushed back, I’m not very confident that all classes will be moved to the new building by the end of the semester,” Martinelli said.
At the University Senate meeting, Roberts acknowledged the frustration campus has about the building not being ready.
“I know we have no credibility at this point. I don’t believe myself at this point,” Roberts said. “We are not trying to fool anybody.”
Although faculty members will begin moving into offices, the building is still not open to students unless meeting with a faculty member.
“Faculty who need to meet with students once they have moved in, will direct them to their office,” said Brian Joschko, chief of Bradley University police. “General building access is not yet open to all.”
Roberts said although the building has been deemed safe to occupy, it does not mean it is ready for office and class use.
“Even though we got our certificate of occupancy last week, there’s still a significant amount of work going on,” Roberts said at the senate meeting. “The certificate of occupancy only means that the city and the state believe it is safe in the building, in case it catches on fire, the sprinklers will go off and the alarms will go off.”
When it comes to the ever-changing move-in date, Charles explained the urgency to move into the building comes from the intention to have the classes in there as soon as possible.
“The intention is for classes to move in in a staggered approach based on what rooms are ready [and] when,” Charles said on Wednesday.
Martinelli said the lack of communication on classes being moved in from the university makes the situation worse.
“I think it would go more smoothly if there was a schedule of which classes will be phased in and when, instead of keeping students and faculty in the dark,” Martinelli said.