Constructed in the late 1960s, the Hart Building has reliably provided a space for employees and students to exercise and recreate for more than 50 years. With hopes to sustain that space for another half a century and more, many areas of the building are undergoing renovations. Provided below is a status update on each of the projects currently taking place in the Hart Building:
The previous air conditioning system used in the Hart Building was the original system installed at the time of construction. Although proper maintenance extended the life of the system, it eventually became necessary to retire it. The installation of the new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system began in Spring 2019 and is now complete.
The east entrance across from the Library has been closed for the past few months as a wheelchair ramp is added to make entry into the building handicap accessible. The east doors are estimated to open by July 2020.
With dance classes and faculty moving into the Hart Building in Fall 2020, the Auxiliary Gym is undergoing a remodel that will convert it into two dance studios. This project also includes creating more offices and storage spaces in the hall outside the new studios. These new rooms have been painted, the ceiling is currently being put back in, and the replacement of the flooring will commence soon. These offices and storage spaces will be completed by the end of March.
The dance studios are still under construction and are anticipated to be completed before the end of Spring Semester 2020. The studios will consist of standard materials found in most dance spaces such as wood flooring, mirrors, and a sound system. Each studio will be between 1800 to 2400 square feet, and between the dance majors, minors, concentrations, experiential classes, and social dance classes that will use the rooms, it is anticipated the studios will serve more than two hundred students each semester.
“We as a department are looking forward to moving into the space,” said Associate Department Chair of Theatre and Dance Ashley Storm. “It will be a similar setup to what we currently have, so not too much will change for our day-to-day routines. Although the MC has been a good home to us for the past few years, the Hart may be better suited for our needs.”
Fitness Center Entrance
To improve the process of entering and exiting the gym, the Fitness Center is renovating their front entrance. The update will move the service desk from where it used to be in the center of the entrance to the side, and it will include newer, wider turnstiles. Additionally, the updates will allow the Wellness Center to have a dedicated space at the entrance instead of a table inside the gym. This project should be completed by the end of winter semester.
In 2021, there are plans to make changes to the locker rooms. Architecture and Construction Management Services Director Andy Johnson wants to reassure those that use them that there will still be a space provided for employees and students to change and use locker rooms during
“We don’t have all the details yet, but we’re going to get the right design and communicate it to let people know what we’re doing,” Johnson said. “For this year, enjoy it. Keep going, but just know that changes will be coming.”
Another project in 2021 will be an update to the main gym. This renovation will focus on creating a better performance space—especially for smaller shows that do not require the entire venue. University Operations will look into options on how to divide the auditorium into smaller viewing sections to create an intimate atmosphere for smaller performances. One possibility is the installation of curtains to restrict seating to certain areas. The main floor will be structurally reinforced as well.