Workers constructing the new Engineering Science building completed the first of three floors recently for the $39.7 million structure.

General Contractor Ray Elliot commands the army of 82 subcontractors who began construction on the new building last February. Construction is due to be completed in December 2003. The building will have 52,000 square feet of space, including two classrooms, offices and teaching laboratories. Students in the Electrical, Environmental, Mechanical and Computer Engineering departments will use the facilities.

“We are up to the first floor,” Elliot said. “The basic shell of the building will be done by early March.”

The design of the new Engineering Science building is complicated because of the inclusion of clean rooms, laboratories and the difficulties associated with moving construction equipment in the surrounding area. Elliot has overseen construction projects at Pepperdine and USC, and travels from his home in Orange County to UCSB every week.

“It is pretty complex. [It’s a] small site; a lot of architectural features,” Project Construction Manager Bruce Raymaker said.

The site, located between the Chemistry and Engineering III buildings, is on top of what was once parking lot 10. The loss of parking spaces has displeased some students.

“It just took away parking spots. You’ve got to go over to the parking structure and walk your ass all the way over here,” senior chemical engineering major Ivan Bing said.

A new parking structure next to Engineering III is planned for completion in fall 2005 and will have 600 spaces.

The Engineering Science construction coincides with 27 other major construction projects planned on campus. Of the major projects UCSB is planning, only the planned San Clemente Graduate Housing complex on Storke Field is publicly registered as being a green building project. The largest and most costly is the $56.27 million Education and Social Science Building that will house 120,000 square feet of working space.

Currently, neither project is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council, which certifies buildings as “green” for their environmentally sound construction. The non-profit, non-governmental agency last spring gave its highest certification to the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management building, a building Chancellor Henry Yang said would set the standards for campus construction at its dedication last year.

“There are no plans to be certified,” Engineering Science Building Project Manager Roger Monte said. “[The certification process] is just too costly.”

Monte said the new structure could be certified “green,” but not at the level of the Bren building.