University prepares for three Samuel Ginn College of Engineering construction projects

Published: November 29, 2016
Font Size

Article body

Construction fencing can be seen going up along West Magnolia Avenue and the Ginn Concourse as the university prepares for three Samuel Ginn College of Engineering projects: Gavin Engineering Research Laboratory renovations; demolition of the three Engineering Shops and the L Building; and renovations to Broun Hall. These three projects will continue through fall 2017.

"Between 2007 and 2012, construction of the Shelby Center for Engineering Technology developed an attractive series of outdoor green spaces, changing the primary pedestrian movement from the street to the campus concourses," said Jim Carroll, university architect, Auburn University. "The renovation of Gavin Engineering Research Laboratory and the demolition of the Shops will expand this welcoming green space to the east, developing a large-scale public garden plaza and preparing for construction of the future Brown-Kopel Engineering Student Achievement Center."

The comprehensive renovation of the former Textile Building, which has been renamed the Gavin Engineering Research Laboratory, is made possible by an $8 million gift from Carol Ann and Charles E. Gavin III. An additive manufacturing facility will be incorporated into the building, allowing students to gain experience with emerging fabrication technologies, as well as a new Center for Advanced Polymers and Composites to continue the college’s research in this area to meet industry needs. The renovated structure will also include new research laboratories, as well as a facility for the Nuclear Power Generations Systems Program, a new wind tunnel system, a series of hands-on student project areas and collaborative meeting spaces. The Gavin renovation is scheduled for completion in fall 2017.

Also, as a part of this project, demolition of the three Engineering Shops and L Building will begin in mid to late December. The process will start with Engineering Shop 1, located directly behind Gavin, and continue with taking down one shop at a time before finishing with demolition of the L Building. Once demolition is complete in March 2017, the university will begin construction of an elevated area and terrace in this location. This new area will serve as the south entrance of the Gavin Laboratory to allow students more convenient entry to the building when coming from the heart of campus, while also providing accessibility to the Brown-Kopel Engineering Student Achievement Center, pending board of trustees approval.

"These major renovations to cornerstone facilities such as the Gavin Laboratory and Broun Hall will allow the college to provide more hands-on educational opportunities with emerging technologies, while also providing our students with the most conducive learning environments," said Christopher Roberts, dean of the College of Engineering.

Just across the Ginn Concourse, renovations to Broun Hall will begin in early December. This project includes improvements to several existing student study areas. The new layout will include a two-story main entrance addition and revised lighting and finishes. It also includes updated information technology and mechanical and electrical systems. In addition, new landscaping will be installed adjacent to the Concourse. This renovation is made possible by a $5 million donation from Dorothy Davidson, chair and CEO of Huntsville’s Davidson Technologies. Davidson’s donation was made in honor of her late husband, Julian, a 1950 Auburn electrical engineering graduate and defense industry pioneer. This project is scheduled for completion in late fall 2017.

A live webcam feed of the Gavin renovation and demolition of the Engineering Shops and L-Building, and construction timelines for each of these projects, can be found on the Facilities Management Major Construction Projects webpage. The College of Engineering has also created a webpage with additional construction information: A map of the construction zones can be found on the Facilities Management Temporary Road and Facilities Closures Webpage.