Work has begun on turning a former storage building into Otterbein University's most technologically advanced facility.

Work has begun on turning a former storage building into Otterbein University's most technologically advanced facility.

The university is in the process of turning the 61,000-square-foot site at 60 Collegeview Road into its new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Innovation Center.

Otterbein purchased the site in 2006 and has used it mainly for storage and warehouse space since.

Now, rooms specifically designed for the classes they'll host are popping up throughout the building, and the outside is being renovated to look more appealing.

"It will kind of look like a UFO at night," said Tom Macchi, assistant director of academic maintenance.

The entire space is being designed with technology and sustainability in mind. While Otterbein won't be officially applying for the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, the LEED standards are the model for the site.

Support structures are being designed to hold solar panels that are expected to power half of the building, and designers are using carbon-neutral, recycled carpet and LED lighting in the building.

Otterbein President Kathy Krendl said that technological, sustainable focus is an important aspect of the building.

"Environmental sustainability is not only one of Otterbein's stated values, but also a key factor in future innovation," she said in an email. "By incorporating sustainable elements into the building of our new STEAM innovation center, the University is setting an example for the current and future innovators who will work and learn in the facility."

The university doesn't plan on monopolizing that technology, either.

Amenities such as a 3-D printer will be available for partner businesses or smaller companies to use.

"If you're a startup company, you can come in and use our equipment to get yourself off the ground," Macchi said.

Renovations are moving quickly, and the first phase of work will be done in time for classes that start in August. Phase two will be done sometime in the fall, while the final phase will be complete in 2017.

When it's finished, Macchi said he expects it to impress.

"It's going to be very different from the other buildings we have on campus, which we love," he said.