Chief Facilities, Planning and Safety Officer
If you haven’t already noticed from the large fenced-in area and detour near Morris Conference Center, a full rehabilitation of Alumni Hall is officially underway.
This large, two-year renovation project is the latest in a long-running Facilities Master Plan that, among other things, seeks to create modern, functional spaces, relocate several offices and help plan for future upgrades. The new Alumni Hall will feature bright new spaces for alumni to visit and gather, meeting and study spots for students, classrooms and offices. It will be home to the Division of College Advancement and have classrooms, faculty offices and multi-use spaces.
Impressively, Alumni Hall will be the first building on campus to use geothermal well technology for its heating and cooling systems. This will require the drilling of 35 wells and the installation of a network of piping to connect them to the building’s systems. Once finished, we’ll be able to utilize the earth’s ambient thermal energy as a source of heat for the building in winter and as a sink for heat in the summer. Adoption of geothermal energy technologies is an important step toward our long-term plan of achieving carbon neutrality in campus facilities operations and this project is the first of many others planned.
Right now, the project contractor has enclosed the building in fencing and has started interior demolition and other removals. A drilling rig is proceeding on the geoexchange well field.
Constructed more than 60 years ago as a library for our growing campus, Alumni’s open-plan design has historically made it challenging to modify for other uses. We’re all looking forward to an updated structure that supports academics and administration for the 21st Century.
The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2023, with a reopening that fall. To learn more about the history of Alumni Hall and stay up-to-date on progress of the work, read an in-depth article by Facilities Planning IT Specialist Phil Bidwell on the Alumni Hall Renovation Project webpage.