New Aeronautics Building leaves room for growth


The new College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology building, which has stations for air traffic control labs, opened its doors to students at the beginning of the spring semester.

Andrea Delph

The Aeronautics and Technology Building opened its doors for students this spring semester.

The building, which is part of the university’s Foundation of Excellence Campaign, is located between the Mathematics and Computer Science buildings and has an estimated cost of $17 million. 

Although this has been one of the most anticipated achievements this year within the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, the 55,000 square-foot building still has some big shoes to fill. 

 “I think it’s great,” said Christopher Robison, a senior aeronautics major. “The university finally took up the opportunity to realize our college needs a new building, but they need to realize that the program is growing. The university cut the budget from this programm and the college needs it.” 

Van Deusen Hall, the old facility that housed the college, was one of the oldest buildings on campus that had not been renovated since its creation in 1951. The building had a large lecture auditorium that enabled a classroom size of up to 150 students, something the new building doesn’t have.

Engineering Students Leave Van Deusen Hall from on Vimeo.

“This is the biggest drawback that we have seen,” Dean Robert G. Sines said. “We are very appreciative. The university has been very helpful with accommodating to our needs. This is nothing we haven’t overcome.” 

Some improvements in the new building include the two newly installed furnaces that will enable the usage of melting metals, a new jet engine simulator and a new computer lab. Sines said the air traffic control lab is his premier showcase from the new building.

Officials discussed building an additional 6,500 square feet to accommodate future student growth in the college’s programs. Adding new programs to the college has also been discussed.

“If money becomes available, there will be a plan to add a larger lecture hall and more lab space,” Sines said. “It’s being planned, has been designed, but there is nothing in the works as of now.” 

The college grew in enrollment by 1,000 and maintained retention at about 96 percent. 

There will be a grand opening to welcome the new building on April 24.

Contact Andrea Delph at [email protected].