Stroh and Wolfe Centers’ construction remains on schedule

Kate Snyder and Kate Snyder

Though winter slowed construction, both the Stroh Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts are still on track for a 2011 completion date.

Respective crews are now putting together the bases and frames of each building.

“The Stroh Center is mostly a steel structure, the Wolfe Center is concrete,” said Ryan Miller, project manager of the Wolfe Center.

Miller said the construction crew for the Wolfe Center is working on pouring concrete in the walls of the orchestra pit and building masonry on the second floor of the east side. They are also beginning to build up from pre-cast concrete planks on the second floor.

Passers-by will be able to see the masonry walls up by late April, and in July they will start to see the top height of the building over the stage.

“The main theater will be 78 feet in the air — as tall as the library,” Miller said.

Miller said structural steel will be erected over the stage, which will be able to be seen in June or July, and outside metal panels will be added in August.

“By the time people come back to school, there’s going to be a pretty big difference,” he said.

Katerina Ray, director of the School of Art, said she was excited to watch the Wolfe Center go up.

“I keep going up to the music studio and looking down,” she said.

Ray said the School of Art has waited for new facilities since 2002, and the theater department has been waiting for 25 years.

“The building’s going up fast,” she said. “I can’t wait for it to keep going up.”

Cameras monitor both buildings’ construction and the images are available for viewing online. The link for the Wolfe Center camera is; the Stroh Center link is

Mike Schuessler, project manager of the Stroh Center, said construction has moved to erecting the steel frame of the building.

“We’re moving into the phase where we’re out of the ground,” he said.

Schuessler said the last piece of steel is scheduled to be placed in late April or early May.

“I think there’s a sense of excitement watching the steel go up,” Schuessler said.

Jim Elsasser, associate athletic director for internal affairs, said he was excited to see the beginnings of the Stroh Center.

“You can see it as you come down Wooster Street,” he said. “It’s basically the blueprint coming alive.”

The administration is pursuing LEED certification for both buildings, which stands for Leadership Energy Efficiency Design. Schuessler said utilities would be reduced through an energy-efficient design. Both buildings are projected to be LEED-certified at this point.