Augustana renovation projects should be completed this year

Originally Posted Online: Jan. 03, 2013, 11:06 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 03, 2013, 11:12 pm
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By Anthony Watt

Several multi-million dollar capital projects at Augustana College, including a large student center, should be completed later this year, but students can take advantage of some of the work when they return next week.

The 35,000-square-feet Center for Student Life will be part of the Thomas Tredway Library and include an upgraded coffee shop, centralized and expanded dining services for about 800 and a conference room capable of seating up to 700. The work should be done by August.

"Our students haven't seen any of this," W. Kent Barnds, Augustana's executive vice president, said during a tour of the new coffee shop, which retains the name Brew by the Slough.

When students left for break, the old coffee shop still was there, but the upgraded one should be ready when they return, he said.The coffee shop is near what will be the main entrance and exit to the fourth floor and includes an outside patio that can seat about 75.

Overall, the shop has been expanded from 1,380 to 3,059 square feet, said Russell Construction's Jay Wagner, who is overseeing the work.

The total project, which began May, is expected to cost about $20 million.

Part of the library's fourth floor will include the student activities and diversity service offices, the reading and writing center, the coffee shop, a classroom and a new activities room, and the fifth floor will be the dining area.

The first three floors and part of the fourth floor will be library space, and get new paint and fixtures and some renovation.

The library's book collection is being consolidated with the help of compact, motorized movable shelves, with about 10,044 linear feet of the shelving installed on the first floor, Keri Rursch, Augustana director of public relations, said.

Other additions to the library include a climate-controlled research center for the special collections section and joint research areas where students can link their laptops and work from the same giant screen.

Other large-scale projects under way at the college are an approximately $9.8 million interior renovation of the Old Main building, and about $8 million in upgrades to the campus football and track stadium.

Work on Old Main is expected to be done by May, and the sports field project should be done before the first games in September, officials said.

Old Main, built from 1882 to 1889, was modeled after the main building at Uppsala University in Sweden, and includes the humanities classes, including English, history, philosophy, political science, religion, sociology, anthropology, communication studies and women's and gender studies.

Renovations include a new interior layout, upgraded technology and centralization of most of the mechanical, heating and cooling, and other functions on the ground floor, said Mike Gammon, of Estes Construction.

"The whole building is a total strip-down," said Mr. Gammon, who is overseeing the project.

It will include a journalism lab, radio studio for the student station (WAUG), conference rooms, more bathrooms and a larger elevator.

There will be 11 classrooms with about 450 seats, compared to the 15 classrooms before the renovation, Ms. Rursch said.

Classrooms and offices will be arranged to allow for more natural light, and a meeting space willinclude a vertical open area that extends through several floors, to recreate the feel of the chapel that originally was there and give an unimpeded interior view of the eastern stained-glass window, Mr. Gammon said.

About $3.2 million in exterior work, including a new roof and windows, was completed about 18 months ago, Mr. Gammon said.

The Austin E. Knowlton Outdoor Athletic Complex will include the Charles D. Lindberg Stadium, the Ken Anderson Academic All-America Club and the Players' Plaza and Viking Patio and Overlook.

Lindberg will include a three-story grandstand and team facilities, and the stadium will accommodate 1,800 and include a press box and rooms for entertainment and recruiting.

The Anderson Academic All-America Club will have televisions and social space, while the Players' Plaza will serve as a new entrance to the Knowlton Complex and gathering place for fans.

The patio and overlook will be another area where spectators can watch the game.


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