The renovations to the Old Main building on campus, slated to be completed this spring, maintained the original architecture without sacrificing safety, efficiency or modernity.
“It’s often believed that building upgrades that are necessary to keep pace with modern technology, conformance with safety codes and expected occupant comforts can not coincide with restorations of beautiful and historically significant buildings” said John McEnrue, director of facilities design and construction.
The Old Main construction project began two years ago to remove the damaged parts of the building and to make use of the space left from the old gymnasium. With an estimated cost of $32 million and a total of 65,000 square feet of space, the project was originally estimated to be completed by summer 2011.
“Most of the original features of the building were either removed or covered and permanently damaged through periodic upgrades over the course of the previous century,” McEnrue said.
The overhaul of the building also included some green initiatives, in the effort to remain historically faithful to the original construction. The building will now have energy efficient air-conditioning, heating, lighting and improved plumbing facilities. All the necessary upgrades were in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and they were designed to look like they were part of the original 1907 structure
“We have also installed [an] energy efficient ceiling mounted and pendant schoolhouse fixtures throughout,” McEnrue said. “The fixture-type replicates period light fixtures for the century old facility while reducing our energy consumption.”
The building held up despite last week’s hurricane, but there’s still work do be done, according to John M. Shupe, assistant vice president for facilities management.
“The items still remaining to be completed are Studley Theater, the second and third floors of the south wing and landscape work around the building.” said Shupe.
The rest of the construction is slated to be completed by the start of the spring semester in January.