Bessey addition project begins this month

Architect sketch of addition on east side of Bessey Hall

Architect's drawing of the four-story addition to Bessey Hall. Work begins later this month. Submitted image.

An 18-month project to build a four-story addition to the east side of Bessey Hall will get underway later this month. All east entries to the building will close on Monday, Feb. 22 -- also the date crews will begin installing construction site fencing. Site clearing work will begin the week of March 3.

The addition

The Bessey Hall addition is one of two biosciences projects, totaling $80 million, approved by the state Board of Regents and partially supported with state funds ($50 million over three years). The site for the other project, a five-story teaching and research facility, is being prepared at the northwest corner of Stange Road and Pammel Drive where Industrial Education II formerly stood.

Learn more

project website includes the architect's building sketches and pedestrian/vehicle circulation plans (four) throughout the project.

Key pieces in the Bessey addition include eight teaching labs and six research labs for two departments (ecology, evolution and organismal biology, and genetics, development and cell biology), and two first-floor general university classrooms, each with seating for 90. The fourth floor will remain unfinished initially, pending future needs in the biosciences program.

Construction of the addition will take place adjacent to and largely outside of Bessey Hall until around Jan. 1 next year, when work begins on a 16-foot wide atrium that will connect the addition to the existing building on all four levels.

The project is scheduled for completion by August 2017, with phased move-in taking place during July and early August.

"One of our project goals is to minimize the impact on pedestrians and vehicles that need to use or pass through this part of campus," said construction manager Rob Ebel, facilities planning and management. Updates to the university community will be posted in Inside Iowa State.

Tips for getting around

Faculty and staff in Bessey Hall will receive regular progress updates, but here are some tips for the campus community for maneuvering around the site:

  • The north end of Farm House Lane will be inside the construction fence, closing that segment of the road for the duration of the project.
  • The east entrance to the reserved parking lot (43) south of Bessey also will be closed, temporarily removing about 14 parking stalls. Once construction is complete, the net loss to the lot will be about five stalls.
  • A sidewalk corridor in the vicinity of the construction site will remain open at all times in both directions (north-south and east-west). Pedestrians should be alert to changes and signs/barriers indicating the changes. Last summer's phased project to widen sidewalks along Osborn Drive will resume in May and June. That work also will impact the designated east-west corridor.
  • Although the sidewalk on the north side of Bessey Hall will be closed and inside the construction fence, the north Bessey doors will remain accessible from the west via the building's existing covered walkway.
  • The CyRide stop in front of Bessey will be moved west, to the front of MacKay Hall.
  • All construction vehicles will arrive at the site from the south end of Farm House Lane, via Wallace Road and University Boulevard. Construction traffic will exit to the northeast on Osborn Drive.

Osborn closure

This June, a section of Osborn Drive west of the Farm House Lane intersection will close for three weeks for underground utility work. The Stange Road barricades in front of Lagomarcino Hall will be removed and vehicle traffic, including CyRide buses, will be diverted to Stange between Osborn and Pammel drives. The road closure has been coordinated with both CyRide and ISU admissions.

Food vendors relocated

B Fabulous BBQ and Burgies food trucks, which were located along Farm House Lane east of Bessey, will relocate to the street space between Kildee and Lagomarcino halls. Two other vendors will remain there.