The 100 building now stands empty as plans move forward to update the lower campus. The 100, 200 and 300 buildings will be torn down and replaced with a modern two-story building with more classrooms.
At a town meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 5, Jonathan McMurtry from Lionakis Architects – the firm that also designed and built the PE building – explained the current timeline for the project and the proposed layout for the new building.
Construction is currently slated to begin in the second quarter of 2015, with the new building being ready to occupy around April of 2018.
The building is being designed to preserve the trees already in place near the old buildings. The monuments in the current plaza, including the monument to Toby Coles, will be moved.
The photography and visual communications classrooms, currently housed in the 300 building, will be moved to the 700 building. The classes held in the 200 building will be temporarily housed in portable classrooms until the new building is completed.
The building will contain five lab classrooms and 16 lecture rooms. Two of the lecture rooms will be divided by a moveable wall, allowing them to be converted into a single large lecture hall at need.
There will also be space set aside for “student and faculty support,” though as yet the exact nature of that space has not been determined.
“It could be conference rooms, it could be tutoring space, it could be adjunct faculty space,” McMurtry said. The only guarantee, he said, is that it will not be office space. The new building will contain no permanent offices.
Sociology instructor Sarah Thompson expressed concern over the lack of permanent staffing areas in the new building.
“What will happen if there is no form of permanent staffing in that building is that everyone teaching in that building will go to the closest permanent staffing, which right now is the English lab,” Thompson said. “They will be inundated if we put in 11 more classrooms.”
College president Barry Russell assured Thompson that this situation was already being considered and that solutions will be worked out before the building is completed.
Along with the lab, lecture and support rooms, the building will contain open areas for students to relax and study and a “wet bar” – “For water!” McMurtry said.
Ultimately, buildings 400 and 500 will also be removed to create a large open plaza between the 4000 building, the amphitheater and the new 100 building. Those plans, however, are not expected to move forward until the next five to ten years.