BIMS

Tag: lab construction

Home Stretch

by gwilson on Sep.16, 2010, under A Day in the Life...

When I was a college student and later teaching high school, my grandfather, James Wilson raced horses at Sunland Park, a racetrack in southern New Mexico just across the border and Rio Grande river from El Paso.  He owned a ranch on the Mexican border (the location where Chuck Norris and others filmed “Lone Wolf McQuaid”) and got into racing as a tax write-off and because he loved the animals.  He would purchase horses, sometimes in claiming races, and feed them his special diet until they were strong and healthy and ready for the track.  My friend Bob and I would talk with him and then head to the track on Friday nights to make modest bets for cheap entertainment.  We would bet until our $20 stake was either gone (after which we just watched the races) or grew into a modest gain.  We felt successful if we came away with enough money to pay for our post-race meal at Denny’s.

One horse in particular was my grandfather’s favorite – Reigh Reed.  The horse loved distance and James would give us this insight into the horse’s style:  he will be the last horse the first time by the finish line and the first horse at the end of the race.  It was a bit disconcerting to watch as he trailed the pack the first time past the grandstands, but it was pure excitement when he left the other ponies behind and owned the home strech.

We are in the home stretch of construction.  The furniture is being installed on the new floors this week.  Then, connecting the plumbing and installing the electrical fixtures will begin to signal the final steps needed to bring this project to a close.   Once the 60″ monitors are installed in the labs and the 47″ displays are put in the hallways, and once the card entry system is in place, we will be ready for business.  A $2.5 M renovation project of 8,000 sf of instructional and research space from beginning to end in five months.

We hope you will join us in celebrating the completion of the labs during October, whether at a special public open house to be announced soon, or during Homecoming Saturday, October 16th.  Come see why the operative word for the project from all who see it is “WOW”!

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Logistics

by gwilson on Apr.13, 2010, under A Day in the Life...

d-dayIt’s one thing to plan new spaces, but another thing to transition from where you are to where you will be.  Countless hours have gone into designing spaces, getting quotes on equipment, and thinking through efficient and effective use of space.  Now that such things are largely under control and winding down, attention is shifting toward moving out of the spaces so the work can begin.

There is a very narrow window of time during which everything has to be done.  We end classes the first week of May and the fall semester starts mid-August.  So anything we can do to hasten the start of construction is important.  We are already in the process of ordering cabinetry and equipment.  May should be the time for demolition and asbestos abatement.  Planning is underway for storage of equipment and supplies from the affected spaces during the process.  Our miniaturized version of D-Day planning is going well.

To help provide as much time as possible for construction, we have been given the green light to end our lab courses early.  My microbiology course will finish a week or so early, and is actually done in the lab.  We will finish the semester using VirtualUnknown(TM) Microbiology to accomplish much of the same work in simulation that we would normally do in the wetlab.  Dr. Benoit is similarly finding ways to complete his courses’ use of the Micro lab ahead of schedule.  Edvotek kits for his immunology course have been a lifesaver!  Dr. D’s work in the genetics/molecular lab will likewise wind down in the next couple of weeks, and her headstart on packing nonessentials is well underway.

trapezeLike trapeze artists using perfect timing to leave one swing in order to catch the other, we are doing all we can to help the construction folks move in and complete their work easily and quickly.  Then, we hope to be able to complete the maneuver by moving back in during August.

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