University plans demolitions, renovations

Reporter and Reporter

Time has caught up with some of the oldest buildings on campus, forcing the University to spend millions of dollars modernizing some of them.

University, Hanna and Moseley Halls are among the oldest buildings on campus and need upgrades, said Steven Krakoff, associate vice president for Capital Planning and Campus Operations.

“The interior condition of the buildings is poor,” Krakoff said. “Structurally they’re okay, but they’ll be gutted and renovated over the next five years.”

Campus officials are trying to balance the need for updates and maintaining the heritage of the University, Krakoff said.

The University has set a $200 million budget for the multi-year building strategy outlined in the master plan Krakoff created.

Currently, McDonald Residence Hall is undergoing an $11 million renovation. The upgrades include relocating the entrance onto North College Street from the inner courtyard, and a complete roof replacement.

“We figure [McDonald Hall] has 20 good years left in it,” Krakoff said. “It’s in an excellent location, and it’ll have more sizzle when it’s done.”

The next planned renovation will take place on the second floor of Olscamp Hall, and will cost about $5 million.

The upgrade will feature new computers, redesigned classrooms and more office space. The project will finish in time for the upcoming fall semester, Krakoff said.

While upgrades are taking shape, several University employees hope the history of the campus won’t be sacrificed.

“The project [looks] to maintain the architectural charm of our buildings while creating modern classrooms inside,” said Rodney Rogers, senior vice president and provost for the University. “We will honor our past while providing for our present and future needs.”

Upcoming renovations of academic buildings may disrupt future classes, something the University is looking to avoid, Krakoff said.

For example, renovations of South Hall and Moseley Hall are scheduled to begin in August, and will keep the halls closed for a full academic year, said Brett Pogan, senior capital planner.

“Those buildings are [another] upcoming focus,” he said. “We have a team plotting a course with construction managers.”

After these renovations are completed, the University will continue with the second phase of Krakoff’s plan.

West Hall and the Education and Administration buildings are scheduled to be demolished in the coming years. West Hall classes and offices will be moved to a newly renovated South Hall, while a new Administration Building will be constructed in the future, Krakoff said.

The College of Education and Human Development will also be moved to the current College of Business Building after its renovation.

The University is always adapting to present and future needs, Krakoff said.

“We’re on the cusp of an exciting transformation of the campus,” Krakoff said. “It’ll make a better image of the community.”