UNA Board of Trustees Approves Resolution Authorizing Construction of New Science and Technology Center
Apr. 3, 2013
By Terry Pace, UNA Communications and Marketing
FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama Board of Trustees has accepted a low bid of $39.7 million from the Birmingham-based company B.L. Harbert International for construction of the university’s long-envisioned Science and Technology Center.
In a meeting today on the UNA campus, trustees reviewed eight bids submitted for the project before passing a resolution to accept the lowest qualifying bid from the Harbert company.
The modern, state-of-the-art instructional facility – to be built between Kilby Laboratory School and Flowers Hall on Pine Street – will house the UNA biology, chemistry, physics and earth science programs currently located in the 51-year-old Floyd Science Building.
In addition to housing classrooms, offices, lecture halls, laboratories and a dining and reception area, the new building is designed to serve as a resource for researchers and scientists working in industries and institutions throughout the region.
“This has been a campus priority for a long time, and certainly among my highest priorities since I first toured Floyd (Science Building) shortly after my arrival,” President William G. Cale wrote in a campus-wide e-mail to the UNA community shortly after today’s meeting. “The project will begin very soon and is anticipated to be completed in about 20 months.”
UNA has $31.7 million currently in place to cover the majority of the construction costs. Meanwhile, the budget committee in the Alabama House of Representatives has recommended $500,000 for the project, but that measure has not been approved by the Legislature.
The university is also considering other potential revenue sources, including an aggressive fund-raising campaign focusing on the Science and Technology Center. The launch of that campaign coincides with the official groundbreaking for the new facility. That ceremony will take place on the building site at 11 a.m. Monday, May 6.
“The university has needed this particular facility for a great many years, and today we’re finally in a position to proceed and make it happen,” UNA Trustee Steve Pierce remarked. “Having an up-to-date, state-of-art home for our science and technology programs will do so much to enhance the research projects and overall competitive abilities of our students and faculty working in these areas. The possibilities now are going to be limitless.“