Construction Breathes New Life into Campus
By: Christian Ernst – News Editor
With a new school year beginning, the face of campus is also changing. Construction at four locations is helping ODU refresh during the next two years.
The Student Success Center, an addition and renovation to the Perry Library, has several new features which can help students in their studies. The total project encompasses 50,000 square feet, including 30,000 square feet of new space currently under construction.
The space will include 24 hour study space, something many students have been after for years, according to Dale Feltes, Director of Design and Construction for the school.
“This is going to bring all parts of the University College together,” said Feltes. “The space will provide 24
hour study space and the Learning Commons, where students will have access to more technology.”
The Learning Commons will encompass 8000 square feet of new space, on top of all 20000 square feet of renovation. “This will give students an opportunity to engage in projects using audio, visual, and virtual technology,” said Feltes. The project is planned to be completed by summer of 2011. Students can still access the library, but the front entrance is closed. Two temporary entrances are located on the side of the building.
The total cost of construction for the project is projected at 10.7 million dollars.
Dragas Hall has been under renovation for the past year, and will be completed in the near future. “The contracted completion (for Dragas) is March, but we expect it to be sooner than that,” said Feltes.
Dragas Hall will hold all international programs for the school, and will have classrooms, offices, and student areas. “(Dragas) will bring together our international program on campus,” said Feltes.
Dragas will cost the school 4.2 million in construction costs upon its completion, but will offer 43,500 square feet of renovated space.
The Monarch Theatre, located on 46 Street and Monarch Way, will be the first studio theatre on campus. It features the ability to have four different stage configurations, according to Feltes, as well as a proscenium. It also features seating for up to 150 people in 24000 square feet.
The project’s expected completion date is late May 2011, and will cost the school approximately 9.2 million dollars in construction costs upon completion.
The new Women’s Crew program will be housed at Lakewood Park, about three miles off campus, where the new, crew building is being built. The building puts the entire team in one spot, including locker rooms, coaching offices, boat storage, and team rooms. The teams ergs, boats, and oars will be stored there as well.
The space is two floors and 16000 square feet, and will cost 2.4 million dollars. The space should be completed by November 11.
The construction does have some affects of students at the current time. The parking lot located directly in front of the library is permanently closed, and the side walk is closed for safety while construction continues. One lane of 43rd Street closed due to construction at this site during the summer, but has since been reopened. Dragas Hall construction closed sidewalk use during the end of last semester, but now an overhang protects pedestrians from construction debris.
Some students are bothered by the construction, but also excited about the future. “I don’t really like it. It took me off my path for thre library,” said sophomore Sierra Seabourne. “I’m lost looking for the front desk, but I don’t know where I’m going.”
“In the future it could benefit for the better, cause you never see the finished product, we don’t know what it’s going to look like,” said sophomore Dirk hamilton. “For now, it can be a pain, especially if you’re going to BAL, I mean what else can they do to the library?’
“[24 hour access] would be very beneficial. I know a lot of my friends complained about the library not being open enough,” said Hamilton.
Photo by: Danielle Buxton