Paint has been scraped from the walls, sawdust coats the floors and pipes hang exposed from the ceiling — the former Psychology Building has been gutted to make way for new departments.
The Psychology Building, now known as the Comal Building, currently stands vacant, but it will soon be the new home to two departments once renovations are complete. The Psychology Department was relocated to the Undergraduate Academic Center, and the building’s name has been altered to reflect the change. Nancy Nusbaum, Finance and Support Services associate vice president, said the facility will house the computer science and philosophy departments.
Chantelle Elder, Psychology Department administrative assistant, said the Undergraduate Academic Center provides more space and equipment such as labs and computers, which were not as accessible in the previous location.
“It made more sense to move them due to space,” Nusbaum said.
The Comal Building is one of the older facilities on campus according to the university’s construction webpage. It served as the Education Building until 1977 before becoming the Psychology Building. The total project cost is $13.85 million.
The remodeled Comal Building is being modernized to better accommodate the incoming departments and is being made more accessible for disabled people, Nusbaum said. The stairwell is being relocated, new heating and air conditioning systems are being installed and fire alarms are being updated. The asbestos and lead paint study was completed in September 2012.
The computer science and philosophy departments are scheduled to move into the Comal building during the summer of 2014, but no specific dates have been set. According to a Nov. 15 University Star article, the university needs 1 million more square feet to support the current number of students. However, classes will not be held in the renovated building in the 2014 fall semester.
The Department of Computer Science has experienced growth and will be moved into the renovated Comal Building in order to accommodate the increase in students. Cheryl Morriss, administrative assistant for the department, said Computer Science faculty and staff were moved into Nueces Hall 10 years ago, but it was intended to be only a temporary location.
The Department of Computer Science is the only one with faculty and staff housed in the Nueces building. Its classrooms and labs are located in the Math and Computer Science Building.
Morriss said research has expanded and the Comal Building will provide faculty members with more space.
Once computer science moves out of Nueces, the School of Social Work may take its place. Dorinda Noble, School of Social Work director, said the move is a possibility that has not been confirmed.
“We have outgrown the space where we are,” Noble said.
The Department of Philosophy, which is currently housed in Derrick Hall, will move into the Comal Building. The department has 36 faculty and staff members according to its webpage.