Trustees approve plan for new engineering building

The Board of Trustees last week approved the site and concept for a new $12.7 million Mechanical Engineering building on the east side of Lomita Mall.

The three-story building will bring two groups in the Department of Mechanical Engineering—Mechanics and Computation, and Biomechanical Engineering—under one roof. Their offices and some of their labs currently are located in antiquated space in the Durand Building.

The new building will be located midway between Panama Mall and Santa Teresa Street, adjacent to the Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory. It will include faculty, staff and student offices, laboratories, conference rooms and collaborative spaces.

The Storke Student Publications building will be demolished, as will the adjacent Building 630, which contains unreinforced masonry and has been shuttered in accordance with requirements of Santa Clara County's seismic safety ordinance.

As part of the project, new courtyards will be designed, and the existing large Chinese elm in the area will be preserved and should be protected during construction.

The project is scheduled to return to the trustees for design approval in October, project approval in February 2008 and construction approval in June 2008. If all goes according to plan, the building will be completed by December 2009.