The breakables were carefully wrapped. Boxes were packed and labeled. The movers were called.
But this was no ordinary move. This one would involve nine departments, 95 faculty and staff and some 3,000 plastic moving crates. That’s in addition to 20 specialty moving vendors for particularly delicate items, including several spectrometers, 525 zebrafish, a cryostat and a laser table worth approximately $1 million.
The immensity of the move from Merrill Science Center to the new Science Center requires a high level of coordination. Dealing with a state-of-the-art, 250,000-square-foot building with 12 teaching laboratories, 47 research laboratories and 12 new classrooms involves a dizzying array of moving parts.
Jess Martin, administrative director of the Science Center, who often jokingly wears a sheriff’s badge with her name on it, had to troubleshoot a host of issues, big and small, that come with such a large-scale move. Vendors disagreed with each other about the best procedures; items went missing or were delivered to the wrong spaces. At one point, Martin and her assistant Kaitlyn Tsuyuki ’18 had to arrange for 250 lab stools—delivered in hilariously short dimensions by mistake—to be collected, refitted and redelivered.
Martin said one of her most nerve-racking moments was when physics professor Jonathan Friedman’s cryostat was on its way from one building to the other, flanked by a cadre of technicians. Martin discovered that new sealant had been applied to the floor where it would reside, requiring some last-minute tweaks (and plywood) before the quarter-of-a-million-dollar machine could be placed.
“It was at least a 12 hour day,” she said, “but it all had to be carefully timed so people were in the right place at the right time.”