Courtney Day, Campus Editor

When members of Miami University’s class of 2010 were first-years , the new Goggin Ice Center and Steve Cady Arena opened its doors, King Café opened in time for their first set of semester exams and the Engineering Building was being completed. The Psychology Building and Heritage Commons were also brand new facilities.

At that time, mechanical engineering major Cory Sellers took his first engineering class as a first semester student in Kreger Hall prior to the opening of the Engineering Building. The Farmer School of Business was housed in Laws Hall. 

University archivist Bob Schmidt said construction has really stood out on campus in the past four years.

“The construction and new buildings are the most obvious change I have seen on campus in that time,” he said.

Senior Project Architect and Manager Jack Williams said one of the impacts of the construction on campus in recent years has been inconvenience for students, faculty and staff. However, he said he hopes the projects have improved student life overall.

“We are enhancing students’ learning environment,” he said. The new buildings on campus feature new technology that allows for a more productive atmosphere and a better learning experience,” Williams said.

Sellers, now a senior, said the new engineering facilities on campus have enriched his experience at Miami.

“The labs in this building are a lot more up to date,” he said. “The technology in this building is a lot better than it was in Kreger.”

Sellers said the computer labs located in the Engineering Building and renovated Benton Hall are a good resource for students and the seating areas provide convenient and quiet study space.

Williams has been working at Miami for 10 years. He was the project manager for the Engineering Building and Benton Hall renovation project as well as the two new parking garages, the underground garage located near Benton Hall and the Campus Avenue garage. He said the past four years have been a time of extensive construction projects on campus.

“We haven’t had a construction boom like this in the last 20 years,” he said.

“We have done in excess of $180 million worth of construction in the last four years,” he said. Williams said the Farmer School of Business building, which opened in 2009, was by far the most expensive of the projects.

Williams said the $180 million figure includes only new construction projects. Smaller maintenance and restoration projects, for example the restoration of McGuffey Hall, have been completed in addition to the construction. Also not included in the figure is Miami’s Voice of America Learning Center, which opened in 2009.

Road and walkway work has also been a focus of the Physical Facilities Department. Williams gave the example of the walk between the Engineering Building and the Psychology Building.

Williams said that relative to most other periods in Miami history, the Oxford campus has seen a great deal of physical change.

“It’s probably more than normal because I believe there was an interest in fixing up things for the bicentennial,” he said.

Williams said Miami is also building more sustainable buildings and the university looks to continue those types of projects in the future.