The School of Dental Medicine has been eagerly awaiting the completion of the Advanced Care Clinic. While this is being finished up, Facilities Management is looking ahead to a new auditorium for the campus.
Director of Facilities Management Craig Holan said there are a few specifics that are desired for the auditorium, but a lot of details are still up in the air.
“We’ll be looking at a new auditorium for up to 600 students, and three areas that can be combined or separated … like movable, folding walls and some additional lobby space … so it will have a variety of uses,” Holan said. “Early on, there were proposals for various locations, and right now, we’ve kind of settled on the north side of the campus, kind of close to where the Wadlow Carriage House is. The tentative location is immediately south of that, along the parking area.”
Executive Director for Administration Kenneth Holbert said planning for the auditorium is still in its infancy, and there’s still not complete certainty that the project will be possible.
“It’s in the very, very beginning stages. We’re still putting together what the building looks like, and where it will be,” Holbert said. “We would love to pursue this, but as we all know, it all comes down to funding. I’m sure the university and the School of Dental Medicine want to do it, but as is true with every project, it all relates to funding.”
While funding is incredibly important for any project, a budget won’t be one set until a floor plan is made, according to Holan.
“The auditorium is, at this point, just a planning thing that’s getting ready to kick off … It’s not a funded project yet. We still need floor plans and renderings, and we’ll get all that together with our study, but we don’t have a set time to finish [the study or the project] yet,” Holan said. “The study will be quick, and when the study is done and when we have a plan, then we go out and get the funding. The timeframe is really up to a few years [for the whole project] right now.”
Assistant Director of Alton and East St. Louis Operations Agustin Bramwell said there is still a very long way to go on the auditorium before any on-ground work can begin.
“We need a set location and a floor plan. There’s a lot of options we need to look at and get set in place before we even go looking at a budget,” Bramwell said. “I’d say we’re about a half of a percentage point done with that whole project.”
However, Bramwell said the Advanced Care Clinic will be done very soon.
“That project started on March 16 of this year, and it’s probably going to be done in March of 2021,” Bramwell said. “It should be totally done and open for people again in April.”
Holbert said there will be a few differences between the new Advanced Care Clinic and the previous building.
“The new building will obviously contain an advanced care clinic. It will have a clinic but also a student area. Before, it was just student space, and it was also a pre-clinical lab, but the pre-clinical lab was replaced with the new building on the corner [of Annex Street and College Avenue] in January of 2014,” Holbert said.
Before fully completing the Advanced Care Clinic, Holan said there are plenty of other parts of the project that will be done leading up to completion of the project.
“Our contractor is on schedule, and we’re looking to be buttoned up by [the] end of November. That means the building will be watertight, but there still won’t be windows, but there will be plastic covering over them,” Holan said. “Heating and ventilation will be in, and the sprinkler system is getting put in. A lot of major components are being done.”
For more information, check the Facilities Management website.