After five months of steady work the process of transforming the Naval Radio plant, established here during the war, into that of the University's new Engineering School establishment, was virtually completed last week when the renovating of Pierce Hall was brought to a close. As a result, buildings, in which a year ago some 6,000 blue jackets were being taught wireless telegraphy, have now been so thoroughly made over that they contain a most comprehensive group of modern electrical, sanitary, mechanical and civil engineering laboratories of the highest order, as well as ample accommodations for all the allied fields of study given at the Engineering School.
Pierce New Headquarters.
Practically all of the University's engineering buildings and laboratories were given over to government use during the war, and therefore after the Radio School's demobilization had been completed, the extensive remodelling process for the reorganized Harvard Engineering School were begun in earnest. In this work, Pierce Hall, which will be the headquarters, containing most of the offices, class rooms and drafting rooms, has been extensively changed. Partitions out in by the Navy have all been torn down and the whole building rewired and repainted. A modern oil-burning plant has been substituted for the old coal-consuming system. This serves the double purpose of furnishing power for the school as well as light and heat for several of the neighboring buildings.
Excellent Electrical Equipment.
Particularly notable are the improvements in the laboratories of the Electrical Engineering Department. Here a set of equipment has been installed which is second to none in range of quality. In addition there are now available some 20,000 square feet of floor space for the electrical work alone. As a result of these improvements the above laboratories are now considered as the best of their kind in the country. Similar improvements have been made in the wing devoted to the more recently established Department of Sanitary Engineering.
Mechanical Lab. in Drill Hall.
Simultaneously with the renovation of Pierce Hall, was the process of transforming the big wooden drill hall, bought from the Navy last June, into a mechanical engineering laboratory. The building has been re-lined for greater warmth and automatic sprinklers, foundations for heavy machinery and a complete drainage system installed. The building has been completely re-wired. Much of the apparatus, including a liquid air machine, steam and gas engines and steel testing machinery, has already been set up so that the building is now in active use.
Other buildings, formerly at the disposal of the government and now returned to the Engineering School, are the Cruft Wireless Laboratory, and the Rotch Building, the latter of which is given up almost entirely to the Division of Mining at the present time.
Other innovations planned by the Engineering School for the near future include an aeronautical laboratory, since the school already has among its equipment a number of airplane motors recently purchased from the United States Government. This step, however, will not be taken until at least another year.