A portion of the under-construction Baylor Sciences Building caught fire early on the morning of Oct. 31, resulting in initial estimates of about $800,000 in damage. No one was injured in the fire.
"Because the fire originated on the outside roof, there is very minimal damage and no impact on our completion schedule for this project," said Rick L. Creel, assistant vice president of operations and facilities. "The firewall protected the inside of the building and limited it to water and smoke damage."
The $103-million, 500,000-square-foot building is expected to be open for classes in fall 2004, with faculty moving into the new space during the summer.
Ten Waco fire units were called to the scene about 4:22 a.m. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to an isolated, unoccupied space on the fifth floor. Investigators said the fire might have been started by a temporary electrical source.
The new building will consolidate the five major science departments currently located in Sid Richardson and Marrs McLean science buildings, which were built 30 years ago when Baylor was half its present size.
About 100 restoration workers began cleanup work immediately, and construction work continues on parts of the building unaffected by the fire.