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SU’s new design and construction director looks to the future
SU’s new design and construction directorlooks to the futureFebruary 13, 2004Amy Schmitzaemehrin@syr.edu
Eric Beattie has big plans. As Syracuse University’s new director of design and construction, he says, “we are planning the new Life Sciences wing of the Center for Science and Technology, and the new wing of the Newhouse School of Public Communications. We will soon begin designing the Center of Excellence headquarters to be built downtown, and engineering research laboratories to be built in Link Hall. Slocum Hall renovation for the School of Architecture is currently in design, as is the renovation of Hinds Hall, which will be done in phases for the School of Information Studies. We are currently constructing the School of Management building, and stabilizing and repairing the Tolley Administration building.”
And these are just some of the projects underway. Now feeling a bit like the caretaker of this 938-acre campus, Beattie continues the work done by his predecessor, Virginia Denton, who retired in October 2003 after 41 years of service.
Beattie comes to SU with nearly 11 years as the director of planning and construction at Williams College, where he oversaw the construction and renovation of 300,000 square feet of science buildings; construction of new athletic facilities, new fine arts and performing arts buildings, and a parking garage; and renovations to classroom buildings, dining halls and nearly all the residence halls on campus. Beattie was previously university engineer at the University of Vermont for 5 years, where he oversaw the construction of several new buildings and renovations. Before that, he worked in Boston and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Vermont in 1982 and his M.B.A. at the University of Massachusetts in 2002.
Beattie says that, since moving to Syracuse in November, he has been deeply impressed with the Office of Design and Construction’s talented staff of architects, engineers, project managers, and administrative and accounting staff. He feels challenged by the work that lies ahead of the department, saying, “One goal I would like to see carried out while building these projects is to make the campus feel like more of a community, more pedestrian-friendly, and less conspicuously affected by the automobile. Part of that goal is accomplished by preserving the wonderful green spaces we have, and celebrating the urban-like spaces between buildings, making SU a comfortable and stimulating place to learn.”
It is challenges like this one that attract Beattie to Syracuse, and he hopes the University’s building program will coincide effectively with the Academic Plan in order to allow the University to continue to grow and improve. “If I wasn’t impressed by the people and possibilities here, I would not have come.”