Grawn Hall renovations ‘on track’ to be completed in fall 2017
Grawn Hall's $10.8 million renovation project is almost complete. Only a student-centered atrium is left to be built by fall 2017.
Associate Vice President of Facilities Management Steve Lawrence said the goal of Phase One was to make improvements to the existing structure of the building, setting a foundation for further additions to be made.
The second and final phase of construction is scheduled to begin in mid-May.
Adjustments in Phase One included the installation of auger cast piles, to help secure the foundation of the building. Improvements were also made to the underground plumbing system.
A considerable amount of work was done to older classrooms in the building, some dating back to 1915. The work done includes the installation of a new set of windows and ceiling tiles in the classrooms, a new building shell and improvements to the roofing. New air handler and fire-suppression systems were also installed.
Phase two will focus on the expansion of student study spaces, with the goal being to make the building a more comfortable social environment.
The additions include a completed atrium, including four new group study rooms, a new elevator and an expanded eating area that includes a Which Wich sandwich shop.
Daniel Vetter, senior associate dean of the College of Business Administration, said he believes the second phase will make Grawn more accommodating for students and faculty.
"Renovations will significantly increase and convert existing space, directly benefitting students in a number of ways," he said. "The project completion will offer a more contemporary feel and flow throughout Grawn Hall, with additional space for students to study and collaborate."
Reading senior John Fisher is an accounting major and one of the many students affected by the changes being made. Having classes in Grawn since his freshman year, Fisher has a good idea of how the new additions are changing his daily routine in the building.
"I like all of the study rooms they're adding. They make things much easier," he said. "Whenever we have a group project, we use them."
Even students who are new to Grawn Hall appreciate the changes. Joe Palise, a fifth-year senior from Plymouth, hasn't had many classes in Grawn until this year. He said he already sees how the building is unique from anything else on campus.
"In Grawn, it seems like everything's more modern and cleaner," he said