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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Planned renovations increase campus efficiency

Published April 11th, 2014

Students and faculty will be able to enjoy a more efficient campus as plans continue to be made for the renovation of Rodli Hall and the Campus Mall, according to Dale Braun, campus planner of Facilities Planning and Management.

The renovation for Rodli Hall is scheduled to take place sometime after construction of the Falcon Center this summer and is anticipated to cost $15 million. It will provide a central location for a variety of student services.

Renovation for Rodli Hall and the Campus Mall is set to begin sometime this summer and will cost $15 million.

Renovation for Rodli Hall and the Campus Mall is set to begin sometime this summer and will cost $15 million. (Rendering courtesy of Campus Planning)

Renovations to the Campus Mall are an ongoing process. Both projects are part of the Campus Master Plan, a strategic outline of improvements to campus over the next two decades.

“The whole idea is to improve services for students,” Braun said. “The services that are good now will get even better.”

New sidewalks will be created on campus to make it more accessible and safe for students and staff. The area outside of the University Center will be redesigned to allow for more student organization activity.

The roof will be taken off of Rodli Hall and interior walls demolished, in order to make way for a new student center. Students will be able to get many of their needs taken care of in one location. Much of the unused space currently in Rodli Hall will be repurposed and become more efficient.

Many departments, including Financial Aid, will have to move from their current locations to Rodli Hall. Barbara Stinson, director of Financial Aid, supports the renovation.

“We need to plan on campus long-term what is best for students,” Stinson said.

The change will require some classroom buildings to be absorbed into other buildings on campus. Fast Copy, which was previously located in North Hall, will have to move its location to another new building. Mark Andrle, supervisor of Printing Services, said he is not in favor of the change.

He said the current location provides enough space for the large printing machines and an accessible parking area for Fast Copy customers. He is concerned a new location may not provide the same resources and anticipates that the changes will affect business.

“I’m not looking forward to moving again,” Andrle said.

After the Falcon Center is constructed and Rodli Hall is renovated, campus officials would like to add onto May Hall and create a new science building.

A new lobby is scheduled to be built for May Hall, after the Emogene Nelson Building is demolished this summer. The new area will be handicap accessible and have an elevator. Many residence halls on campus are currently not handicap accessible, but Braun says the University is working to create a more inclusive community.

The new science building will provide new resources for students and professors in physics, chemistry, biology and math. It will also allow related departments to have offices that are side-by-side, which will benefit students who have interdisciplinary majors.

“The labs we have now are okay, but don’t let faculty use new technology to teach,” Braun said. “The current building is based on a 1960s teaching method.”

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