FARMINGTON — Construction workers at the corner of College Boulevard and Pinon Hills Drive are clearing land for the new San Juan College School of Energy building.
The approximately 65,000 square foot building is scheduled for completion about the end of May 2015, Jaynes Corporation Project Manager Jeremiah Hayes said.
"We are in the very beginning phase of construction," Hayes said. "It's what we call dirt work or excavation."
A ceremonial ground breaking was held on Oct. 17, 2013, with college faculty, administrators and donors on the $15 million project just north of the Quality Center for Business, where the building will be constructed.
Hayes said the workers started prepping the ground so the concrete foundation can be poured and structural steel installed.
Jaynes Corp. is working together with architecture firm Dekker/Perich/Sabatini on the project.
Both companies have been working together because the project is using the design/build style, where the contractor is included in the design process to save time and money.
Hayes said the design/build project style allowed construction workers to start in February rather than waiting for finished construction documents, which will be completed this summer.
The construction documents are about 50 to 60 percent complete and Hayes said they should be finished this summer so work on the exterior of the building can begin.
Officials still are asking School of Energy faculty and staff for input on design, said Steve Biernacki, Senior Director of the college's Physical Plant.
"Our contractor has been very including of the faculty that will be teaching the classes," Biernacki said. "It's working out very well."
The exterior of the building will have a stucco finish and the interior will feature modern, industrial design elements like a polished concrete floor and exposed structural steel in the ceiling areas.
Two-story labs for specific programs will be constructed to cover areas such as natural gas compression, oil and gas production, industrial process operations and more.
Classrooms on the second floor will have windows overlooking the lab, allowing students and staff to see what is occurring in the labs.
"It's going to be a nice, industrial-style looking building, but it's going to fit in the campus context," Hayes said. "It'll look real similar to the other buildings on campus."
Biernacki said about 208 new parking spaces will be constructed south of the building, which will have a new entrance to and from College Boulevard.