January 24, 2012
Writer: Emily Rust, Scroll Staff
A wall of reconstruction is what students see when they enter the George S. Romney Building from the east.
Old display cases have been torn out and new sheetrock is being hung. Tools and ladders line the wall.
Ric Page, associate academic vice president of Support Services, helps to coordinate and prioritize projects dealing with academics.
He said that new display cabinets will replace those that were torn out.
“We’ve always had display cabinets there. They have always been used, but they have become very dated and worn. It was just time to refurbish and give them new life,” Page said.
According to Page, the new cases will enable items on display to be more alive, instead of static.
“One of the things that we’ve been able to do, now that these are all torn out, is bring in data connections and more power so that we can actually plug things in and connect them to the Internet,” Page said.
Forest Gahn, a geology professor said the remodeling of the display cases actually started with the remodeling of the geology museum several semesters ago.
“The museum is a relatively small space, so what we are trying to do is essentially extend our museum through the hallways. Most people when they come to visit us enter the doors from the east, so we really want the museum experience to start when they enter the building,” Gahn said.
According to Gahn, the hallway exhibits will be designed to tell a story beginning with the origin of the universe and ending with human civilization.
They will include displays about galaxies, the lifecycle of stars, the solar system, formation of the earth, rock cycle and progression of life on earth.
Lucas Galo, a senior studying integrated studio arts, is in charge of designing the info graphics for the display.
Galo said that he needs the display to make sense to those who will view it.
“What makes sense to a geologist or a physicist may not make sense to everyone else. Sometimes I have to do research on my own to understand what I’m designing, so I can translate it visually in a clear and interesting way. I think it is important to have someone like me, with very limited knowledge of the subject on board. If I can understand the information, I believe most people will,” Galo said.
In the geology museum, specimens are displayed on white cubic platforms. Gahn said this display will continue throughout the hallway exhibits.
“We’ve created this cityscape design for showcasing the specimens. If you had seen this last semester, you would have seen a bunch of glass cases with a bunch of little specimens crammed onto glass shelves that look kind of like grandma’s knickknack shelf. Stuff was just crammed into space. This opens up space a little more. It helps you to focus on individual specimens,” Gahn said.
Galo said the plan is to keep the display up for at least 25 years.
“We are hoping to have them finished around the end of February or middle of March,” Page said.
The workers are trying to work on the louder details of the project in the early morning and the quiet parts of the project when classes are in session so they don’t disturb students.