The opening of the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering, and Innovation to the students of Oswego State last week means the deconstruction of Snygg Hall will soon be underway.
Snygg Hall was part of a set of six new residential and academic buildings that were constructed on campus to meet the demand of the growing population as the baby boomer generation started attending college and opened in 1968. This semester, Snygg will undergo the multi-step process of dismantling.
“There are materials that need to be removed as hazardous waste, so that process will take place first,” said Allen Bradberry, the Facilities Design and Construction Project Coordinator.
According to Bradberry, the building will then be torn down using track excavators, not by implosion or a wrecking ball, which has been rumored around campus. Bradberry said that the close proximity of the new science building makes those options dangerous and unrealistic.
“The track excavator will come in with a set of jaws on it. Basically it will look like a large T-rex and it will assist in systematically deconstructing the building,” Bradberry said. “The bricks and the concrete get pulverized. The metal within, the rebar and any structural steel, gets recycled and reused so the building as a whole will get reused as fill or recycled metal. So the building will live another life, if you will.”
Over the past few years, the future of Snygg Hall had been in question, especially when construction on Shineman began in 2010.
Casey Raymond is an assistant professor in the chemistry department and chair of the science planning committee who was greatly involved in the building project.
“Before we even started the project we looked at the possibility of renovating Snygg,” Raymond said. “From this we determined it was not cost-effective to renovate Snygg.”
According to professors who had offices there, some of the problems with Snygg included its outdated labs and equipment, slow computer systems, unpredictable heating and cooling and noise.
“The new building offers for me a much quieter office and no air pollution from the organic laboratories, which I experienced from time to time in Snygg,” said Joseph LeFevre of the chemistry department.
According to Raymond, Snygg could not have accommodated modern science labs if renovated. The much-needed upgrade in scientific equipment fit with the modern facilities of Shineman. Now that its construction is complete, Snygg is no longer useful to the campus and so deconstruction was deemed necessary.
“The teaching labs and research labs are all state-of-the-art. Special planning has been prepared to create specific research areas that will encourage new projects that might not have been possible in Snygg,” said Anthony Contento of the department of biological sciences.
The transfer from one building to another is an ongoing challenge that requires a lot of work. A lot of equipment and furniture from professors’ offices had to be moved from Snygg to the new science building during the last few months, and professors that have worked in Snygg for years are still adjusting to the new surroundings.
“We started in January and all of the faculty and staff were aware of the schedule in March,” Raymond said. “Several people began packing during the spring semester and were ready to go as soon as classes ended. We did have some issues with the elevator failing in Snygg and we needed to move a few things out with creative methods. In one case, we hoisted a one thousand-plus pound crated instrument out a third floor window. We did use a professional moving company for some items, but Facilities Maintenance and Operations provided eight to 10 students for the summer to help with the moves.”
The demolition of Snygg is scheduled to begin early this fall and will continue into the spring, according to Bradberry. Once gone, a new parking lot will replace the building’s old foundation. The lot will be constructed over the spring and summer and should be ready to use at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester.
The Shineman project has been an exciting affair on campus. It opened the first new academic building since 2006 and closed one that Oswego State students have learned in for over four decades.
“In the end, Snygg served us all well,” Contento said.
Ast. News Editor