The University is on track to complete the expansion of the Carl Hansen Student Center near the start of the 2012-13 academic year.
“We’re making good progress,” said Joseph Rubertone, associate vice president for facilities, as he recently toured the space formerly known as Alumni Hall.
Twenty-five construction workers are in the process of pouring concrete and laying bricks. Also included in the crew are electricians, masons, iron workers and plumbers. However, the speed of their progress depends on weather conditions. Although it has been a relatively mild winter, crews are battling frost on the Echlin side of the work site.
The renovation, which began last January, will include new suites for the university’s media and Greek Life organizations, bigger meeting rooms and a large open area for the community to gather in front of a two-sided gas fireplace. In all, the space will add 10,000 square feet of space to the student center.
However, before that could be constructed, the building had to be gutted. New walls, windows, roofing and steel were installed throughout the former Alumni Hall structure.
Students will be able to enter the renovated space from the existing student center.
The first floor will include a large open gathering area that will comfortably seat about 100 people; a Greek Life suite; a suite for the University’s media organizations, complete with a TV studio; four conference rooms and the gas-fueled fireplace.
“It provides a living room for the campus, a place to hang around to see and to be seen,” said Rubertone.
The second floor, accessible from the second floor of the existing student center as well as via two circular staircases leading from the downstairs of the renovated space, will feature a large multi-purpose meeting room with a 12-foot projection screen; two smaller meeting rooms; a general area for about 70 student organizations with wooden, lockable spaces; lounges and game tables.
The first phase of the project was completed over the summer when the second floor of the existing student center was renovated and Campus Ministry and the Office of Community Service relocated to the space shared with student center staff. The floor’s bathrooms and elevator were also renovated, and the Student Programming Board moved into the area formerly used by the Chronicle, Montage and Summit media organizations.
“This is an exciting time,” said Daniel Brown, assistant dean and director of the student center. “This is something that will benefit not just our students, but the entire university.”