Construction brings new campus view
Students returning from summer vacation may notice their favorite stomping grounds undergoing big changes.
As part of a campus beautification project, Chapman is constructing a new Historic Core Classroom building, re-scaffolding the tower of Beckman Hall, preparing for the groundbreaking of the new Center for the Arts, and constructing new residence halls.
Recently completed projects in the campus beautification program include the refurbishment of the basketball courts in the Hutton Sports Center, the Masson Family Beach Club pool next to the residence halls and the Argyros Forum expansion.
Kris Olsen, vice president of campus planning and operations, wrote in an email that the developments have been planned for a number of years.
“Most of the major projects take three to six years from conception to completion,” Olsen wrote. “It just so happened a number of these projects coincided at the same time.”
The re-scaffolding of Beckman Hall is an exterior upgrade, costing $1.6 million. It is the first project scheduled for completion and will be done by early October. Olsen said President Jim Doti and the Real Estate Committee of the Board of Trustees want the appearance of Beckman Hall to blend in with the rest of campus.
“Since Beckman Hall was built prior to the establishment of our current palette of exterior colors and finishes, it became important that such a prominent structure should complement the balance of the campus,” Olsen said.
For similar reasons, the Historic Core Classroom building near Smith, Reeves and Roosevelt Halls is being built. The building is designed to match the historic structures of the surrounding buildings, but equipped with up-to-date technology and resources. It is slated to be open by spring 2013. The project’s $8 million budget will be used to install four 36-seat classrooms, five 18-seat classrooms, two 16-seat seminar rooms and 14 faculty offices.
“The university needed additional classrooms to accommodate the university’s goal of reducing class size and allowing for more class scheduling flexibility,” Olsen said.
The new Center for the Arts, which will be located where the visitor’s parking lot, Public Safety office and Glassell Park Apartments used to be, will break ground Sept. 6. It is budgeted to cost $64 million and include a 1,100 seat professionally tuned performance facility.
New residence halls were originally going to be constructed across from Marion Knott Studios, but were put on hold due to environmental complications. Olsen said construction of a new residential complex is only in the conceptual stage and has no timeline for completion yet.
Leah Huehne, a freshman communication studies major, said she was unaware of the construction at Chapman until she drove to the residence halls for Orientation.
“I saw this big brown square of dirt and wondered what it was. It wasn’t as nice to look at as I remembered,” she said. “Orientation was organized really well so there weren’t any problems because of the construction. During lunch there was drilling and sawing that was annoying, but most of the time it wasn’t too loud.”
Makenna Wrobel, a freshman psychology major, said the construction only affected the lack of guest parking throughout the week.
Olsen said the construction should not inconvenience students.
“The disruption should be minimal,” Olsen wrote. “We have provided access to all areas that students need to frequent.”
Other projects including a Center for Science and Technology are also in the design phase. The university is currently fundraising for the $100 million project said Mary Platt, director of media relations.