now with more cowbell
Babbio Center on track for fall opening
Posted: 2005-02-25 00:00
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Author: Phil Gengler
Section: The Stute

Nearly four years after ground was broken, the Babbio Center is expected to be open for the upcoming fall semester.

Originally expected to open last fall, construction was delayed in its early stages over concerns about the blasting being done to clear the site. This resulted in lawsuits between being waged between Stevens and advocacy group Fund for a Better Waterfront, which were only recently resolved.

Even once it opens, however, the center will not be "complete." The top two floors will not be completely furnished; only the necessary fire and safety items, "whatever we need to get a Certificate of Occupancy," will be installed, according to Hank Dobbelaar, Vice President for Facilities/Support Services.

The Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr. Center for Technology Management will be the new home for the Howe School of Technology Management. The Howe school currently has its offices and classrooms on the third floor of the Morton-Peirce-Kidde complex.

The opening of parking garage attached to the Babbio Center is another matter. Work on the garage is on hold pending more funding, with no definite timeline for its completion.

Funding is the main obstacle facing the garage, since Stevens received the necessary variances needed to complete construction from the Hoboken Planning Board last year. Once funding is obtained, Dobbelaar said, all that remains is the completion of a final plan, "which should take about a month," as well as getting the necessary construction permits from Hoboken.

Ground was broken on the Babbio site in October 2001, making it almost four years to the day between the groundbreaking and its formal opening.


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