Crews broke ground on a new engineering building at the University of Nevada, last June. After months of house demolition, excavating and utility work, the steel frame of UNR's newest building is taking shape. The project manager says the building is nearing it's halfway point on schedule.

"Proper planning for a project is key," Jeff Current, Project Manager for the Nevada State Public Works Division said. "They've done a great job of planning this project for not only the state but the university and things seem to be going smoothly."

The four-story building is rising up on the east side of campus, along Evans Avenue. The state will pay half of the $86 million cost of the nearly 90,000 square-foot building. Most of the current work involves steel erection and preparation for concrete on each floor. Then, they will begin working on the mechanical and plumbing systems.

"You'll see duct work systems and the wet pipe systems stat to take place and then as the building progresses, you'll see the enclosure of the building, the outside, the brick and the metal panel," Current said.

The College of Engineering has several buildings. The new one will help manage the student population growth. Officials say this year had the largest number of incoming freshmen, with 650 students. It also has the most graduates, exceeding 450.

"The growth of engineering is a result, first of all, of the very hard effort of faculty and staff, and second of all, of many companies coming to the area," Manos Maragakis, Dean of the UNR College of Engineering said.

Maragakis says those companies are critical to diversifying Nevada's economy. They need skilled workers and he says this building is necessary to keep the university on track to be a leader in engineering education.

"We will have state-of-the-art teaching facilities, experimental facilities, new offices, many interactive places so the students can interact with faculty and even companies visiting us," Maragakis said. "It's going to have a tremendous impact on our drive to offer our students the most globally competitive education we can."

Construction is expected to wrap up in July, next year. That will allow it to open in time for the 2020 fall semester.