|Vol. 17, No. 35||July 9, 1998|
The $12 million construction project, which will involve a new addition and major interior renovations, started in early June, according to project manager Gina Sinovich, and is scheduled for completion in December 1999.
"It's a two-phase operation," she said, "First, the central section and south wing will be remodeled and the addition built, and then the north wing renovation will begin."
The first phase will last a year, and those housed in the central and south wings have been relocated to the trailers or to available north wing offices. The second phase will last six months, and faculty and staff now housed in the north wing will be moved into the trailers.
According to Executive Vice President David Hollowell, the building, originally constructed in the early 1950s, is reaching the end of its original design life. There had been some renovations done in the 1970s, but they did not address the major mechanical systems, he said.
A new heating and air conditioning system will replace inefficient individual heat pumps. Ductwork is being installed and the result will be more efficient, quieter and allow for better regulation of humidity. To handle the additional mechanical system demands associated with the renovation, an addition also is being built on the utility plant in nearby Worrilow Hall, Hollowell explained.
According to Sinovich, the 9,000-square-foot addition will be built on the south wing, duplicating the north wing. Iit will house mechanical systems and a laboratory on the ground floor. Administrative offices will be on the second floor, and entomology laboratories will be located on the third floor.
In Townsend Hall, most partitions will remain, but the building systems-such as fire alarms, cooling and heating, data and telephone wires-are being replaced. Handicapped accessibility is being enhanced, including installation of a new elevator. A student commons room, which can be used for other functions, is planned on the first floor, Sinovich said.
All of Townsend Hall's classrooms will be brought up to the same technological level as similar-sized classrooms in other buildings on campus, Hollowell said. In addition, the agriculture branch library will have more electronic access, and some current book space will be freed for student study areas.
"Given that most people enter Townsend Hall from the back because of the parking area there," Hollowell said, "renovations there will make access to the building easier, including a better ramp, new doors and signage and improvements in lighting and landscaping."
Anderson Brown Higley Associates of Wilmington is the architect, and Bancroft Construction Co. is construction manager.
Photo by Jack Buxbaum