Drilling behind Horton prepares for possible construction projects
Loud noises near Horton Hall on Wednesday stemmed from core drilling in Lot M for the purpose of collecting soil samples for future building projects, said Brian Phillips, senior director of Facilities Services.
Facilities has tentative plans to build a new dorm near Lot J and needed to test the soil in the area to ensure that it is suitable for construction, Phillips said.
“[The university’s master plan] has a residence hall in Lot J between Sigma [Hall] and the Facilities Services building,” he said. “It also calls for a parking structure to be built in Lot K so we are doing some preliminary investigative kind of work on the quality of the soil in the area so we can get a better idea for the design and what those requirements would be for those two structures.”
Putting rumors to rest
Over the past year, rumors have been swirling around campus stating that Biola plans to tear down Stewart and Hart halls and replace the empty space with a massive dorm. Phillips clarified that this is indeed false, and that the new dorm in Lot J is the only new residence hall being considered.
“One of our early versions of our master plan revision that we are currently working with the city on ... called for Stewart Hall to be torn down and for a new dorm to be built on the site,” he said. “But we decided not to do that, so Stewart Hall and Hart Hall both remain on our master plan as they exist today.”
Although the core drilling has begun, there are no solidified construction plans as of yet, Phillips was quick to point out. Facilities Services is merely doing some precursory investigative work.
“We are just gathering some preliminary info,” he said. “The decision to construct any of those facilities — parking structure or a dorm — would come at a future board of trustees meeting.
It’s on our master plan so we’re gathering all the information so we can try to get a feel for what the cost might be. We’ve already done some planning work on a dorm we’ve already done some schematic design work for next to Sigma ... but the final decision to build this dorm hasn’t been made yet.”
The drilling is scheduled to continue for the next three days and should be completed by the end of this week. The soil samples will be sent to geotechnology experts who will report on the suitability of the building earth, according to Phillips.