Optometry building on schedule

The new facility will be complete in early January

The new Optometry building is currently right on schedule and will be finished within less than a year.

The new Michigan College of Optometry (MCO) Building, known as The Center for Collaborative Healthcare Education, is going to be completely finished on Jan. 3, 2011, according to Tim Ward, Project Manager for Clark Construction Company. Clark Construction Company has been working on the construction of the building since May 2009.

“The project is on schedule, due some very cooperative weather this winter,” said Ward.

Ward said excavation of the building is finished. The foundations are completed and the slabs on decks have been poured on the south half of the second and third floor. He said they would begin pouring slab on the first floor soon. The structure steel of the building is 95 percent done.

“It’s been going very well,” said Michael Hughes, Associate Vice President of the Physical Plant.

“We’re starting to enclose the building and put the metal studs around, that’s going to be some noticeable progress you’ll see in the next week or so,” said Hughes.

Hughes said they added a second work shift to the project beginning at 3-4 a.m. so the trucks can get through without being delayed by university traffic.

In the Allied Health parking lot on West campus, the Clark Construction team is currently conducting an on-going excavation. Hughes said that by the end of this week or early next week, the sidewalk would be re-opened

Ward said there have not been recent problems experienced during the construction process of the building.

In terms of budget, Hughes said that they are doing very well, but are slightly under. He cautions that the Ferris community stays safe and conscious around the construction area with truck traffic and heavy equipment.

“We don’t want anyone to walk so close they’ll end up getting hurt,” said Hughes.

MCO will offer vision screenings to the community and students. It will also include an Eye Care/Vision Clinic that will offer clinical optometry students, interns and residents.

In addition, it will be the first academic building in university history to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.