Im not sure when you were there last but the thing is HUGE!.
It's larger than the current EWR ATC tower and stockier than the new FAA tower going up,it's going to be real nice when complete probably by late 2001 or early '02. They're moving along quite rapidly with construction,the facility will handle ramp operations for CAL and replace a facility in their basement. CAL recently built two smaller ramp control towers at IAH (one for the South and North parts of TerminalC). The purpose of the tower is to coordinate the movement of aircraft and vehicles on their ramps and taxi ways,and to steamline ground operations.
The EWR FAA tower will be finished perhaps by mid-late fall,however it will be subjected to many tests and a certification period which means it will not take over operations from the current tower until about 6-9 months after it's completion. Which means the new FAA tower will probably become operational by late Summer 2002.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757