Sturges Quad construction continues on schedule as architects consider internal renovation plans

The construction in Sturges Quad to repair electric and steam infrastructure (pictured above) will likely progress as planned, finishing by August 2018.  As Facilities and Planning Services finishes the construction, the college has enlisted architects to start planning interior renovations set to occur within Sturges and Fraser Halls. (Annalee Bainnson/Photo Editor)

The construction project that Facilities and Planning Services has coordinated in Sturges and Fraser Quads will proceed as planned with an expected end date of August 2018. As this finishes, facilities has begun working on a project to renovate the interiors of Sturges and Fraser Halls.

Sturges Quad has been the central focus of campus construction since the end of the spring 2017 semester, when the college closed the area off and began working there, according to a Sept. 7 2017 article from The Lamron. The construction project began in May 2017 and will likely meet the expected August 2018 completion mark, according to Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Michael Neiderbach. 

The construction was originally split into eight overlapping phases, ranging from a few months to a little over a year, according to Neiderbach. Once phase six begins in the spring, occurring around both Newton Hall and the Integrated Science Center, there will only be two phases left.

In terms of possible weather-related setbacks over the winter months, Neiderbach had only positive things to say about the construction’s progress. 

“We’re actually doing great with weather,” Neiderbach said. “We’re progressing faster than expected on steam tunnel work.” 

Neiderbach mentioned that a significant portion of the steam tunnel that the college is replacing is being created off-site, which allows the work to continue even if a snowstorm hits. 

Aside from the construction on the quad, the campus is looking ahead at possible renovations of the interior of both Sturges and Fraser Halls. 

In a town hall forum on Wednesday Feb. 14 led by architects Mark Wendel of Flynn Battaglia Architects and David Levo of Perkins Eastman Architects DPC, members of the college community discussed what they envision for the future of both of the halls.   

This renovation project is in its early stages, with no specific start date as of yet, according to Wendel and Levo. The money and mission for the modifications came from the college and State University Construction Fund, according to a Jan. 26 e-mail from Assistant Vice President of Facilities & Planning George Stooks. It will focus on classroom and office remodeling, creating more flexible and accessible learning and study spaces within the two halls, according to Wendel and Levo. 

At the forum, members of the audience asked whether the renovations would increase the amount of secure late-night study spaces or accessibility for people with disabilities. While the architects did not make any specific commitments addressing faculty, staff or students’ concerns, they indicated that the forum was to serve as a “listening session.” 

“Everyone is different and has different agendas,” Levo said. “Some of you cannot focus with any sort of distraction, others of you are absolutely energized by being in the middle of the student union. [What we’re considering is] how do we create environments to service all the different expectations in one space?”