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Students already talking about Purdue’s new Honors College residence halls to open in 2016

Honors College

Photo courtesy Messer Construction

The Honors College is just one of the university’s more recent projects. But, these two buildings have people talking – on Twitter and on a blog devoted to the project – chronicling the construction with project updates to keep readers informed of what’s happening on the site and how it may affect them.

Catharine Patrone, Purdue Honors College  Director of Student Services, said that with any construction project, there’s always a lot of interest but it is often more concern on the part of students and staff about how that project will affect their ability to get around on campus, how they will get to work or class.  “Using a blog is one way to harvest the energy regarding construction projects around campus in a positive way, to get information out in front of it,” she said.

The two new buildings, located on the southwest corner of 3rd and Russell streets, will provide Honors College students their own community residences on campus connected through an underground hallway. The ground floor will house faculty offices, classrooms, a couple of labs, and a restaurant.

Messer Construction is managing the project, and selected F.A. Wilhelm Construction’s bid to provide concrete services.

Work started in January 2015 and it wasn’t long before the project was faced with very challenging weather conditions – rain that seemed to have no end.

When Wilhelm crews were placing the cast-in-place structural concrete this spring, dry days were indeed few and far between. According to the National Weather Service, the longest dry streak in the Lafayette, Ind. area lasted only six days. Derek Carlson, Wilhelm Project Manager, said all the rainy days made for a tight timeline.

Ron Moeller, Senior Superintendent for Messer agreed and said that Wilhelm worked hard to help keep the project on track. “Even with all the rain, the Wilhelm team wouldn’t go home. They always had a fall back plan to stay productive. During the rain, they’d go back down under the deck and do work there,” he said.

Honors College

Photo courtesy of Messer Construction

Moeller said it’s common for projects on college and university campuses to operate under a tight timeline. “They always want the building open for their next class,” adding that all the rain in June made that a bit tougher for this project.

Moeller said that working with Wilhelm has made a difference for this project, “In the construction business, everybody needs everybody else. There’s so much work out there right now, it helps to have companies like Wilhelm to help out.”

“You can get anybody,” Moeller said. “Make a phone call, and they’ll be here. But, it’s the level of talent that you get that makes the difference. Wilhelm brings the talent.”

The buildings are scheduled to be completed in time to welcome students in the fall of 2016. Wilhelm’s work on the project is now complete. Other work on the project continues, fortunately now with weather conditions far more favorable for construction.

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