Students, faculty enjoy newly expanded engineering building

The Phase IV expansion of the Engineering Hall opened this semester. The expansion brings new classrooms, offices and technology to engineering students and faculty. (George Walker | The Collegian)

Construction around Durland, Rathbone and Fiedler halls has been difficult to navigate for many students, but the newly renovated and expanded engineering building opened for classes this semester.

The Engineering Hall now houses all eight departments within the College of Engineering, which includes computing and information sciences and computer and electrical engineering, according to the Engineering Hall’s website.

“(The expansion) brought most of the department together,” Sheryl Cornell, program coordinator in computing and information sciences, said. “Many students collaborate on research, so now they have a common space.”

This saves students from having to walk all over campus due to how spread out the engineering classes were before the expansion, Cornell said.

Work on the engineering building has been ongoing since 2014, according to the Engineering Hall’s website.

“It’s been well worth the wait,” Cornell said.

The expansion added more lab and classroom space to house the growing number of students, but office space has decreased for faculty members, according to Cornell.

“(The expansion) shows we have a really modern program,” Regent Erickson, freshman in mechanical engineering, said.

William Hsu, associate professor in computing and information sciences, said cellphone reception can occasionally be an issue in the building.

There’s always room for improvement in architecture, but (the dropped calls) aren’t really a problem,” Hsu said.

He said the classrooms hold new equipment that adds to the modern feel of the hall, and students and faculty are excited to use the space, and he looks forward to trying out the new equipment.

Erickson said he enjoys how open the expansion is as well as the added space to display projects. According to Erickson, the new computer labs and the up-to-date equipment make the building more convenient for engineering and computer science students, whose numbers continue to increase each year.

“We’re not seeing any indication of (the increase in students) stopping,” Cornell said. “We’re only going to increase.”

The College of Engineering saw the highest increase from 2014 to 2015 compared to other colleges at K-State with an increase from 3,503 undergraduate students to 3,666 undergraduate students, according to K-State News and Communications Services. The college’s goal is to to reach 3,750 engineering students by 2023.

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