STORY BY MARGOT STEVENS
A new building for science, technology, education and mathematics (dubbed STEM) will soon be constructed between Medbury and Olin.
At the moment, Drake University administrators are in the process of pricing the project.
Chief Administration Officer Venessa Macro expects the budget will be approved when it is presented to the board in January.
If it is approved, they will break ground in February and significant construction will commence in the spring. The construction is expected to conclude by August 2017 if everything proceeds according to plan.
Funding for the project is being provided through fundraising and debt services.
A fundraising goal of $20 million has been set and so far $13 million of that has been raised. Another $32 million will be attained through bonds.
The university’s revenues are expected to rise because of the building, which will help pay for the debt. Tuition will not be affected.
The addition of the new building also means an addition of seven new majors.
Drake will now be offering degrees in kinesiology, data analytics, physical education, athletic training, occupational therapy, doctorates in occupational therapy and masters in science for athletic training.
A lot of research went into the decision on which majors to add.
“It was born out of research from Drake’s admissions staff as well as national research about what employers need and student want,” Macro said.
But students are most excited about changes that are going to be made to existing buildings.
Renovations will be made to Olin and Harvey Ingham, and the greenhouse will be relocated to the roof of the connection building. Perhaps most important to students, skywalks will connect all the science buildings together.
“The connector buildings will be great for science students because they can literally go from one end of the science wing to the other and never have to go outside,” said Paul Grewe, a sophomore majoring in theater and BCMB.