Despite new building Founders Hall renovations are to be completed on time

The south entrance of Founders Hall remains closed as construction continues.

While the 21st century project, a series of renovations on Founders, Alumni, Rendleman, Dunham and Peck Halls along with the Lovejoy Library, will be delayed by the new health sciences building, it will have no effect on the date of completion of the Founders Hall renovations.

The construction for Founders was planned to be done by April. While most of the construction will be done by that point, some work can’t be done until there is no one in the building according to Campus Architect and Architectural Manager Roberto Canessa.

“[Founders] won’t be totally done [by April],” Canessa said. “Some work has to be done in the summer when there are very few occupants. The goal is really to be ready for the fall.”

Vice Chancellor for Administration Rich Walker is adamant about getting the Founders Hall construction done as soon as possible for purposes of saving money and getting people moved back in more quickly.

“We’ll be able to get people in there sooner and be able to do more work as a result,” Walker said.

This will allow the work on the new health sciences building to be the main focus and get started more quickly. Director of Facilities Management Craig Holan said they have already started working on a design plan for the building.

“We requested a proposal for architect engineer consultants to provide bridging documents for the health sciences building. So this will be bid as a design build, meaning that the architect that comes on board first provides a general blueprint with the requirements,” Holan said.

This proposal was sent out Tuesday, Feb. 11. Holan said that this will be a partial plan and will be sent out to design build teams consisting of builders with their own architects.

The purpose of using this method is to hopefully shave off about nine to twelve months of the health science building design plan. The entire process will take about three to four years to complete. Two of those years will be to construct the building.

The new health science building’s construction is going to take place before Alumni Hall in order to make the 21st century project move much more smoothly.

Holan said that, while this will delay the project for the time being, it will make it much easier to work on the other buildings in the future.

“As part of the Founders [project] we also had to carve out what we call swing space to put people temporarily,” Holan said.

This costs a lot of money to do, and funding plays a major factor in how quickly the construction teams can move through the project.

“If we construct a health science building and move the nursing school out of Alumni Hall, then I’ve got a lot of vacant space that I can go in and renovate without moving people out of it,” Walker said.

Walker said ideally all classes will be moved out of Alumni Hall during its renovation with the ability to move people into the new health building. This would save a lot of time for the construction team.

“With everyone out of the building, all the heating can be pulled out all at the same time as the mechanicals, structural retrofits,” Holan said.

Holan went on to explain that it was hard to give an estimate as the time will largely depend on funding.

This is a large project that will take a lot of time, which will cause a lot of inconvenience for occupants of these buildings, which is why Walker wants to show his appreciation for all those affected by this.

“I always like to say ‘thank you’ to the people who are in the building who have to live with these conditions day by day because construction is inconvenient. There’s no question about it. So I appreciate everyone being patient as we do this work” Walker said.

Walker also said the end result will be worth the struggles they have to deal with for the time being.

“When it’s done we’re gonna have a building that’s going to operate more efficiently, it’s going to be more comfortable to work in and study in and that will last us another 50 years,” Walker said. “That’s what this program is all about.”


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