On Indiana State’s campus, it seems there’s always new renovations taking place.
“We have 72 buildings and over 4 million square feet” said Bryan Duncan, Director of Capital Planning and Improvements. “So there’s always something that needs renovation or repair.”
This summer, renovations on the fourth Sycamore Tower, Rhoads Hall, finished up. Work is also underway on the College of Health and Human Services building, the North Gym, and the Fine Arts building.
The deadline for summer projects is usually before students come back to campus in August, but renovating old buildings can create challenges.
“Any time you remove a wall or a floor, you uncover surprises, so that impacts our schedule, and we’re always having to catch up to be ready in August,” said Duncan.
The Fine Arts building, which opened in 1940, featured its own unique obstacles, as workers had to remove several grand pianos.
“It was interesting,” said Chris Olsen, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It all went fine, but you know they had to take out one section of the wall and get a big crane in with special equipment to crane the grand pianos out.”
Collaboration has played a big role in campus renovations – the Nursing School building will accommodate the Fine Arts students this year – and Dean Olsen says the teamwork involved allows for a better finished product.
“The architects have been great about meeting with each of the faculty who teach in each of those spaces and talk with them really in depth about the placement of materials in classrooms and what kind of materials and its just very attentive to what the student experience will be like,” said Dean Olsen.
And that experience is the drive behind the constant cycle of renovations on ISU’s campus; projects that benefit all who call themselves Sycamores.
“I think its great for the university to improve these spaces for our customers, our faculty and students, just to create better spaces for them,” said Duncan.
Dean Olsen says the Fine Arts building renovation will benefit not only those on campus, but also those involved with the Community School of the Arts, which he says will be much more conveniently located in the new space.
The Fine Arts building renovations are set to be completed by August of next year, just in time for the 2019-2020 school year.