Renovations to begin on Bailey's long-silent halls

In the near future, the Guy A. Bailey Science Building will undergo significant new changes after several years of largely disuse.

According to Jeffrey Kaplan, director of Facilities Planning and Construction, Bailey Hall will undergo a complete renovation after the relocation of the physics and chemistry department back into a renovated Greene Hall. Historically, Bailey was home to the biology department, one of the largest departments on campus.

A place for teaching and research, Bailey features modern biology laboratories, as well as a vivarium for maintaining live animals, a greenhouse, a herbarium, a planetarium, controlled environment chambers, electron microscopes, facilities for work in genetics and physiology, faculty offices, small classrooms and a 200-seat lecture hall equipped with rear screen projection and closed-circuit television.

The renovation of Bailey Hall is part of the College's current Academic Space Planning Study. "The intent of the Academic Space Planning Study is two-fold," said Kaplan. "One is to provide for the optimal allocation of spaces to academic departments. The other, and possibly more important result, will be to develop a 'dynamic surge' process for all our future building renovations."

The "dynamic surge," as explained by Kaplan, is intended to minimize the movement of all academic departments as the College looks into the complete renovation of aging academic buildings. Those given primary consideration for renovation are Sturges, Wadsworth, Welles and Fraser Halls.

"Departments moving into the renovated Bailey Hall would never need to move again as we renovate, say, Sturges," said Kaplan. This initiative eliminates costly and disruptive relocations such as that of the physics and chemistry departments. Kaplan said the College has spent close to $800,000 to provide temporary facilities in Bailey for those displaced departments. "The departments that were forced to move into Bailey will again move back to Greene after it is renovated," he added.

The Greene Hall renovation is scheduled to accommodate classes in the fall of 2009. The Bailey Hall renovation will begin at that point and will likely take at least two years to complete. The renovation will be what Kaplan referred to as a "complete gut," or a complete internal renovation. According to the plan, laboratories may become classrooms and small classrooms may become office suites. The plan also includes an approximately 10,000 square foot addition featuring innovative classroom design. "I would also expect the exterior of Bailey to be fully transformed to present a more modern appearance," Kaplan said.

Dr. Ray Spear, professor and chair of the biology department, believes the plan will have little effect on his department. "The biology department moved into the ISC last fall and occupies about two-thirds of the space in the new building. We are very happy in our new building, which has more labs for teaching and student-faculty research. The renovation of Greene Hall is most important to the departments of physics and chemistry."

Spear added that although the biology department does have a storeroom in the basement of Bailey, it will be used by other departments on campus in the future.

Kaplan said that Bailey's preliminary architectural work, such as building analysis and structural evaluation, has already begun.