When students return to campus this month, they’ll notice some changes as campus offices prepare for the eventual demolition of Chambers Hall.
Upon completion of fundraising for the $75 million Vision in Action initiative, 85-year-old Chambers (and a one-story building currently housing WFF custodial services) will make way for the new Halbert-Walling Research Center. But that means its occupants – psychology, and language and literature, as well as WFF – need new homes, and to make room for them requires setting up and knocking down a series of proverbial dominoes that ultimately involve seven buildings, on and off campus.
Here’s how it works:
The Department of Language and Literature is moving into the second floor of the Hardin Administration Building’s south wing, replacing the Graduate School, which mostly has moved into the third floor of Brown Library, replacing a suite of study carrels. Graduate School staff are working in their new offices as construction finishes up, while crews have finished repainting and laying new carpet for language and literature, whose faculty and staff began setting up their new spaces last week.
The Department of Psychology will move into McKinzie Hall, where it already has counseling space, replacing the Office of Student Life, which will consolidate all of its personnel in the lower floor of McGlothlin Campus Center, including the space formerly occupied by the bowling alley. Campus Center renovation is expected to be finished during the fall, meaning psychology will not move out of Chambers until after the semester ends in December.
WFF will move across Campus Court into the Nichols House, currently occupied by the Office of Technology Support Services, which will move into the second floor of Zellner Hall, replacing members of University Marketing, who began moving into the renovated Vanderpool Building last week.
Two other projects indirectly related to Vision in Action also are taking place on campus this summer:
In Brown Library, crews soon will move all books on the third floor into compact shelving on the bottom floor, opening up a common area east of the AT&T Learning Studio that will include additional Graduate School offices, including one for the new Graduate School dean, Dr. Stephen Johnson (’90). That project is scheduled for completion in October.
In the Campus Center, crews are renovating the north entrance as part of a project to install an elevator for easier access to the lower level. Along with making the north entry plaza and stairs more unified aesthetically with the surrounding landscaping, crews will shore up the walkway, which had begun to sink after decades of use. The north entrance is scheduled to be open by this Friday, Aug. 16, while Campus Center work is expected to be done in October.
Likewise, Phase 1 of the Vision in Action science component – the renovation of Bennett Gymnasium into laboratories for the Department of Engineering and Physics – is expected to wrap up in October, with classes beginning there in January.