With a fresh start to the school year comes a fresh new look for Anspach Hall, as its $14.1-million renovation project enters its final phases.
Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences Timothy Hall, who helped oversee some of the renovations, said the construction was necessary to provide the outdated building with adequate infrastructure. Many of these changes help the building become more handicapped accessible, in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
“The elevator system was 50-years-old. It was out of compliance with ADA requirements. It was the most heavily-used building with no place for students to wait for classes but the floors and hall benches,” Hall said. “It now has state of the art (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), a comfortable and attractive student lounge, much-needed additional office space and updates that should serve it well for the next half-century.”
While the project is in the final stages, contractors will be on-site well into the Fall semester.
“The project is nearly complete, though Clark Construction will be on site until October finishing a long list of small items and making sure everything is in optimum working order as we transition to fall,” Hall said.
The changes are focused on practical application as well as visual appearance. The changes, according to project manager Steve Esch, will save about $50,000 per year on energy costs by reducing electrical usage.
More renovation-related changes include a new departmental office suite on the second floor to house the philosophy and religion department, upgrades to climate control, new floor and ceiling finishes and upgraded lighting throughout the building.
“The most noticeable changes are seen coming into and through the west entrance,” Hall said. “Outside, you’ll see new landscaping, new stairs, a new wheelchair ramp, a new entrance canopy, (and a) new double entry,” Hall said. “Inside, you now pass straight back into the new student lounge with a gracefully curved ramp leading into the classroom wing.”
After the finishing touches are completed in October, no further plans are in sight for Anspach.
Hall is happy with how things have turned out, and has received some positive feedback from colleagues.
“(I’m) very pleased with the renovations. They make the building a much more attractive and suitable space to work and learn. Anspach is the most heavily-used classroom building on campus, and students spend a lot of time here,” he said. “They deserve a space like Anspach to pursue their academic goals.”