After three years of construction, the Old Main Building of SUNY New Paltz will re-open its doors next fall.
According to Director of Facilities Design and Construction John McEnrue, renovations made throughout the facility were funded through the State University Construction Fund, with costs expected to be approximately $25,000,000.
McEnrue said new electrical wiring installation has been completed in Old Main, as has most of the heating, ventilating and airconditioning equipment and support duct work. The plumbing supply and return piping has been installed, in addition to most of the telecommunications wiring throughout the facility.
Interim President Donald Christian said adminstrators anticipate the building to be open again in one year’s time.
“We are being assured that the construction will be done in the spring, probably May,” he said. “Then, we can begin relocating into that building during the summer to be ready to support academic programs in fall 2011.”
When the construction at Old Main is complete, McEnrue said there will be 10 new classrooms, two new computer labs and two new education science labs. There will also be 114 offices in the building.
McEnrue said this is a sharp increase from the previous number of offices available in Old Main.
“We created three levels of new offices in the south wing of the facility which previously housed an obsolete and abandoned gymnasium,” he said.
The wall finishing, floor installation, new lighting, telecommunication and smart classroom installation work remains incomplete in the building, according to McEnrue. He said “a new elevator and disabled lifts” also need to be installed.
Old Main Building housed the School of Education prior to construction. After the project began, classes were dispersed in facilities like the South Classroom Building (which will soon serve as a “swing space” for Wooster Science Building occupants during renovation), Humanities Building and the Coykendall Science Building. McEnure said Old Main’s active floor space prior to the renovation totaled 72,000 square feet, while the South Classroom Building only totals 20,000 square feet.
Students in the department said this is one of the reasons they look forward to the building’s return in fall 2011.
“All of our classes are so spread out on campus now,” said third-year elementary education-English major Sarah Schmidt. “This can be one space that’s kind of ours.”
McEnrue said because of the increase the number of faculty offices available, other departmental offices will also be able to move into the renovated south wing of Old Main. SUNY New Paltz’s original gymnasium used to be located in the area.
Access to Old Main will not be available until the school receives a certificate of occupancy for the facility, McEnrue said. This will only happen when renovation is substantially complete.
McEnrue said the renovations will have a lasting impact on the campus community.
“We are upgrading SUNY New Paltz’s original and most historically significant building,” he said. “Our technology has to be state of the art because we are educating tomorrow’s educators.”