for the Future Discussed at Forum
next major renovation on campus – converting Magers Hall from faculty
offices back to student housing – was the first of several pending
facilities projects discussed at the Dec. 1 university forum at
C.B. Hedgcock. Art Gischia (Purchasing) said
bids are due Dec. 9 and construction is scheduled to begin in March.
estimated $6.1 million renovation (depicted in the sketch above)
is on the "fast track," with completion expected in just
three months. The self-imposed schedule with Magers will serve as
a trial for future residence hall renovation projects in the hope
that on-campus housing will not be impacted during the academic
is a very aggressive approach to a project of this magnitude, but
we wanted to finish it over the summer so that we wouldn't have
to take a building off line for a whole year," Gischia said.
"In order to have better control of the scheduling, we've approached
the bidding process differently. Instead of having an architect
draw up one complete bid package, this time we have three individual
bids – for general contractor, mechanical and electrical – held
by the university. It will take two or three shifts to accomplish
this, but if it works, we may consider it again for future residence
will also serve as a real-life learning experience for construction
management students, who will work on the schedule and follow the
process through the initial construction phase. Carl Holm
(Housing and Residence Life) said architectural changes
in the building will include a roofline that is pitched rather than
flat; and three-story entryways on the corners featuring sunroom
sitting areas on the second and third floors.
really wanted to change the long, dark corridors and open them up
to bring in more natural light and allow students to take advantage
of that light," Holm said.
NMU Board of Trustees recently authorized a bond issue to fund new
student apartments (sketched at left) at an estimated cost of $13.3
million. The complex will feature a mix of efficiency, one-bedroom,
two-bedroom and four-bedroom units.
the art and design addition nearly finished, serious attention has
turned to the future of the two oldest campus buildings: Carey and
Lee Halls. Carey, built in 1948, may be turned into condominiums
designed for a retiree population.
thought of creating a teaching and learning environment that suits
all ages of the population is appealing," said President
Les Wong. "We have made an effort to receive community
input on the Carey proposal. There is a lot of condo construction
taking place in Marquette,
but we think we can complement that without stealing others' thunder.
Adult learners have a legitimate place on campus and this would
open up other opportunities."
Roy (Finance and Administration)
said Lee Hall may become a campus welcome center, restored to preserve
and showcase such noteworthy features as its terrazzo flooring and
ballroom. It might eventually house the NMU Foundation, alumni relations,
a heritage center funded by a private $1 million gift presented
during the past campaign by an NMU alumnus, Northern Center for
Lifelong Learning, continuing education and the center for gerontological
studies. While some university resources will be required for the
project, Roy said the goal is to fund most of it through private
sources by creating a vision for the building and securing investors.
Pace (Facilities) outlined
future maintenance projects, most of which will begin in May and
be completed in August. They include installing a new stage rigging
system in Forest Roberts Theatre; upgrading ventilation in the PEIF,
based on issues that have surfaced in Vandament Arena and the recreation
areas; modifying canopies over the south entrance to the Superior
Dome to prevent safety concerns associated with mini-"avalanches"
of snow that slide off the building; upgrading a classroom and entrance
in Jamrich Hall; and repairing 11 steam manholes on campus that
Pace said are failing.
will try to fix half of them in 2005 and the remainder in 2006,"
he added. "In order to do the work, it may require a steam
outage of 10 days or longer. We will be talking with departments
about the ramifications of that. The longest we normally shut down
is three days at a time, so this would be for an extended period."
maintenance projects include new electrical switch gear and boilers
to replace the current 1960s models, and a future upgrade to the
Ripley Heating Plant that may pave the way for cogeneration and
may be able to burn natural gas, wood chips and possibly coal,"
Pace said. "We're taking a close look at these possibilities,
but the study is in the very early stages. As we proceed, we will
keep the campus community informed."
forum ended with tours of the soon-to-be-completed Reynolds Recital
Hall in C.B. Hedgcock and the renovated Thomas Fine Arts building.