By Marisa RussellASSISTANT COPY CHIEF
After student enrollment doubled from 2012 to 2013, the School of Engineering and Applied Science needed to expand. It has found its new home in Adams Hall.
Renovations on the building began last summer, and after next week, will be complete.
The expansion will be open for student use by the spring semester. Though progressive, the renovations created some conflict as the mathematics department was moved out of Adams Hall and into Roosevelt Hall, due to the department being required to move mid-semester, and the current lack of space for their computer lab. This came with a tight timeline, but overall the department was pleased with the move.
“We’re happier here than we were there,” said Sylvia Silberger, chair of the mathematics department. “They still haven’t found a place for our computer lab. But overall we’ve got much nicer lounges. The students are a lot happier here,” she continued. “Most of us are on one floor and I feel like we have better interactions with the students because of that.”
The renovations, however, are important to the engineering school. Dr. Simon Ben-Avi, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, said major aspects of the renovations that will be used for classes next semester.
“We have commissioned in the last few months two brand-new laboratories. One is called ‘big data’ and the other is robotics and advanced manufacturing. Those are the big new things,” said Ben-Avi.
Ben-Avi described “big data” as the in-depth analysis of large amounts of data, and robotics and advanced manufacturing as the use of technology and innovation, like the assembly line, to speed up the production of goods.
According to Joseph Barkwill, vice president of Facilities and Operations, the money for the renovations was acquired through New York state grants, issued to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and assigned to fund new laboratories and the overall renovations.
“The first grant was for the biomedical lab that was a million and a half dollars,” said Barkwill. He added that the robotics and “big data” lab were also funded by New York State grants.
The grants were not connected to the new medical school at Hofstra, as the money went to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to renovate, but Barkwill mentioned that some classrooms could be used by other disciplines.
Barkwill added that improvements were important to Hofstra as a whole.
“The renovations really dovetail into student enrollment,” he said. With the added facilities, Barkwill said, students will be more likely to consider Hofstra.
Ben-Avi said his interactions with prospective students support this.
“I’ll ask a [prospective] student where else have you applied, and they’ll say phrases like ‘You’ve just showed us your facilities so our list is now much, much shorter,’” said Ben-Avi.
Some current students, like Jeffrey Scott, a junior mechanical engineering major said that improvements will likely draw potential future students.
“When I was visiting schools every single really good engineering school had an area like they’re building in Adams Hall right now,” Scott said. He plans to use the space for the motorsports engineering club he started this semester.
Unlike Scott, senior electrical engineering student, Jelyssa Fuertes, plans to use the new ultrasound labs as a part of her senior design project, in which she will be studying the use of ultrasound therapy and electrotherapy in the medical field.
“I am so excited to perform my own research on something that I truly care about, Fuertes said. “The fact that I will be able to do it on campus is a great feeling.” Without the renovations, some students would have had to find other locations to complete their projects.
“I am so happy with the renovations,” Fuertes said. “I think it is great that the engineering and computer science programs are expanding, and that Hofstra is helping that cause.”