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Construction Begins on First of Four Engineering Building Projects

January 30, 2008

The first stage in a massive undertaking to improve teaching and research facilities for the University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Engineering has begun. Earlier this month, groundbreaking occurred for a new, $9.8 million Civil Engineering Laboratory Building (CELB) situated on the west side of the UT Arlington campus.

The CELB will include replacement labs for the materials/structures facilities currently located in the Engineering Lab Building (ELB), which will undergo major interior and exterior renovations as soon as the CELB is functional this summer. The CELB will also house new labs for the study of asphalt/pavement, construction, and geo-environmental and geo-mechanics. The 26,000 sq. ft. facility will provide state-of-the-art laboratories that will enhance the learning experience of the students in the rapidly growing department, plus space for areas of high-demand research. In addition to research, the CELB will also include space for teaching laboratories.

“The CELB will provide the CE Department with much needed replacement and growth space,” said Dr. Nur Yazdani, professor and chair of the Civil Engineering Department. “The department has experienced significant growth in undergraduate and graduate enrollment, in sponsored research activities and in faculty. This facility will allow us to capture soon-to-be-lost space in the ELB, establish teaching and research labs with modern layouts and equipment, and perform research of state and national significance.” These include the testing of underground infrastructure, flexible and rigid pavement materials, full-scale building and bridge components, saturated and expansive soils under static/dynamic loading, and the investigation of municipal solid waste in traditional and bioreactor landfill.

Later this year, work will begin to make way for changes to the current Engineering Lab Building and the construction of a new Engineering Research Building. The fourth project will involve the construction of the Center for Structural Engineering Research, which is expected to be the nation’s premier facility for structural research.