Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hodge Hall: Week 53 -- The view from my desk

The masons are just about finished building the concrete block wall around the front tower.
What's on the menu for Year Two of the Hodge Hall Undergraduate Center expansion and renovation? Let's start with this summer.

Although we do have classes going on at Kelley -- including Summer I-Core -- the crew will take advantage of the lighter foot traffic and empty classrooms to get some of the inside work out of the way.

A lot of that work will take place even farther inside the interior -- in the walls and ceilings. Doesn't have much of a visual "wow" factor when completed, but it's all essential work, including switching out the fire protection system, installing new security devices, and connecting existing power lines to the new switches and circuits.

To that end, the power will be off for the entire undergraduate building all day Friday, May 24. Professional and support staff will be relocated to available rooms in Kelley's Godfrey Center.

When you stop to think about how all of this construction and renovation affects the people who work and learn here, you realize how this project couldn't be managed without some careful planning and  masterful logistics. On the Kelley side, those plans are orchestrated by Assistant Dean of Finance and Operations Teresa Kase, construction liaison Nathan Morrison, and Ryan Bassett, Kelley's manager of emergency, safety and security planning. The team does a great job keeping the Kelley family informed of what's going on and works to minimize the inconvenience as much as possible.

In addition to the electrical work, the crew also will be installing voice and data cabling, and extending duct work and pipes to connect with the expansion. Major stuff going on there.

More noticeable, and something that does have that "wow" factor, will be the new terrazzo tiles on floors one through four. The tiles will look similar to the flooring that's now in the Hall of Honor. Some of the interior walls affected by the expansion and renovation will be finished out as well.

Of course, work will continue on the outside of the building, too. With the concrete block nearly finished on the new tower section, I noticed the crew getting everything in place on Friday to begin masonry work on the rear stairwell and northwest section of the expansion.

I expect the view from my desk will change considerably in the next few weeks.

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