In February, construction crews broke ground on the $65 million STEM project at Drake University. The project will add two new buildings to the campus, creating a connected six building hub for science, mathematics, computer sciences, and health science programs along with the relocated School of Education. These new programs will draw students Drake previously couldn’t capture. Additionally, the programs will help to meet Iowa’s workforce demand in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
In order to construct these new buildings, 38 trees had to be cleared, leaving behind large piles of wood chips in the construction site. Of the 38 trees, six were of an appropriate size to be repurposed.
These six trees, five Oak trees and one Norway Spruce, were chopped down and cut into appropriate lengths to be sent to the sawmill. The wood was then taken to Wilkins Custom Sawmill in Runnells, Iowa. After the milling and drying period, the lumber will be ready for Drake facilities to use around the campus for picture frames, benches, book cases, and cabinetry.
The City of Des Moines and the Drake University Tree USA Committee require Drake to replace the trees with 64 new trees planted around the STEM building and across campus.
Given time to grow, these trees will be among the 1,500 trees across the campus enjoyed by students, the community, and Drake squirrels. With construction expected to be completed fall 2017, Drake University will be growing in more ways than one.