PASADENA, Calif. – C.W. Driver, a premier builder serving California since 1919, has broken ground for the new 91,000-square-foot Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health at Biola University. Tentatively scheduled for completion in fall 2017, the $45 million, three-story building with a basement will serve as a teaching, research and laboratory facility for the university’s recently established School of Science, Technology and Health.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Biola University and bring a state-of-the-art learning facility to their next generation of students,” said Tom Jones, project executive at C.W. Driver in Los Angeles. “We worked closely with university leadership and Gensler to evaluate constructability improvement opportunities, coordination items and each building system to maximize the value this project will bring to Biola’s students and faculty.”

Designed by Gensler, the new building will consist of flexible work spaces to allow adaptation to new sciences, technology and teaching methods over time. With only three general-use classrooms, the majority of the space will consist of chemistry, physics, engineering and nursing labs and study areas to promote interdisciplinary learning and collaboration through active, hands-on learning. State-of-the-art spaces will include a nursing simulation and skills lab, human anatomy suite and biology teaching labs where instruction, observation and experiments can occur. To fully utilize the space, the facility will also feature learning spaces in, around and on top of the building with a rooftop observatory and an onsite greenhouse for the university’s developing botany program.

C.W. Driver’s scope of work includes the demolition of existing classrooms and construction of the new, three-story facility within their footprint. Prior to the start of construction, C.W. Driver worked with Biola University and Gensler to address and solve any possible construction challenges, in addition to creating a logistics plan to mitigate potential disruptions to the campus while the university is in session.

C.W. Driver will construct the building with a concrete structural frame to provide a high degree of stiffness needed for the facility, as it will contain many sensitive instruments. Targeting LEED ® Silver, sustainable features will be incorporated throughout the building to optimize energy and water use efficiency and enhance the sustainability of the site.

“The fields of technology, science and health are among the fastest growing in the country, and with this new, state-of-the-art center, we will be able to equip our students with the skills to excel in their respective fields,” said Biola University president, Barry H. Corey.

In addition to Wilt, the C.W. Driver project management team members include Brett Curry, vice president; Tom Jones, project executive; Jonathan Wilson, superintendent; Scott Kaufman& Tyler Wenzel, assistant project managers; Caryl Anne Vredenburg, senior planner; and Robert Shafer, vice president of estimating.

The Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health joins a number of projects in which C.W. Driver has been involved within the higher education sciences and biomedical field in California, including the Life Sciences Building at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles; Sciences Building at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo; and the Segerstrom Science Center at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa.