Physics labs in lounges. Faculty offices in former dorm rooms. Consider it the temporary normal as Concordia prepares to renovate its science facilities.
Earlier this month, the Board of Regents gave final approval to update Ivers and the Jones Science Center. The $45 million project will be completed in fall 2017.
In the meantime, staff and faculty have been busy. As of early October, more than 60 percent of Ivers and about 50 percent of Jones Science had been vacated.
More than 100 offices and rooms have been packed and moved.
Some lab and research spaces are still being used in the two science buildings. Those spaces will be cleared by the end of November. Two biology labs and one chemistry lab, which will be ready for second semester, have been built in the former Normandy space above the Cobber Bookstore.
Most faculty offices are now located in Fjelstad, a residence hall. Faculty members from the psychology department have their offices in the basement of Old Main.
Lounges – like Birkeland Alumni and Frida Nilsen – have been turned into occasional classrooms and lab spaces. The King Intercultural Center in Park Region Hall is now being used for nursing instruction.
More than space has been prepped for the transition. Because of temporary lab locations, faculty reconsidered how to teach courses – and which courses to offer between now and fall 2017.
“It took extensive planning to design classes around the spaces,” says Dr. Ellen Aho, professor of biology and chair of the building committee.
Keeping the college’s sustainability practices in mind has been at the forefront of this project. Facilities staff identified items such as door handles, plumbing materials and mechanical valves that can be repurposed elsewhere on campus.
In addition, about 100 “Reuse Tours” have been offered. These tours give campus employees an opportunity to obtain furniture, shelving, cabinets or office supplies that won’t be needed in the renovated buildings, says Samantha Hill, sustainability coordinator. The college is also in the process of donating unwanted lab materials to area high schools.
“We want to make sure we’re sustainable throughout the process,” Hill says. “We’re always asking the question – what do we do with the stuff we already have?”
Fall 2015 Timeline for Science Facilities
- Offices and materials moved to transition spaces on campus
- Transition labs completed in Normandy
- Existing labs in Ivers and Jones continue to be used
- Construction documents completed
- Call for construction bids
- Ivers and Jones completely vacated by end of semester
Photo: Dr. Mark Gealy's physics class meets in Frida Nilsen Lounge.