Workers are putting the finishing touches on the first phase of renovations to the Main Building, to have it ready when the semester begins Monday, August 24.
“We are bringing our original campus building into the 21st century,” said John Sarber, director of physical facilities. “We are excited for our students and faculty to begin using these rooms.”
Students will attend classes in the renovated classrooms on the south side of the main hallway, while a temporary wall will close off the north side for renovation. The hallways are wider, with dark and light gray tile floors that make it appear even larger, and new restrooms and water fountains with a stylish backsplash.
These new learning spaces are furnished with sleek new desks, with arms that move from one side to the other to accommodate both left- and right-handed students; or chairs and tables that easily fold down for storage. All are on wheels, to allow instructors to re-configure the room for individual or group learning.
Each room also features a technology station and one or two flat screens, with glass boards on either side.
“It’s more modern now,” said Sarber. “The glass boards pop it up a notch.”
The Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program has its own suite on the first floor, in an area that formerly housed administrative offices. It includes a large conference-style classroom, as well as a smaller meeting room and lounge area.
Havens Auditorium also will re-open, with a new lobby and restrooms. Nearby, two theater and music classrooms have also been updated, including removing the theater-style seating and risers from one of the rooms, for more flexible use.
Upstairs, former science labs have also been transformed into high-tech classrooms. Students will especially enjoy a large lounge and study area, equipped with sleek, modern furniture, perfect for collaborative work or study between classes.
“This is going to be one of the coolest spaces on campus,” Sarber said.
The second floor also is home to faculty offices in psychology and humanities, which have all been updated.
The building will be more comfortable, too, with the installation of new air handlers, and boxes to control the climate in individual rooms.
The front entrances to the Main Building, on the circle drive, will be open for the first time since January, as construction shifts to the back of the building.
Phase two is underway, with renovations to the classrooms on the north side of the main hallway. The center hallway also is closed, for construction of a food and nutrition lab featuring five stainless steel kitchens, and the lower level is being transformed into mathematics laboratories.
Construction will continue into early 2016, and an open house is planned this spring.
“I look forward to April, when the community will be invited to see the major transformation that is taking place,” said Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke. “We are so grateful to our state legislators for their support in securing the funding for this major renovation.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.