Out with the old and in with the new: CU is in the process of finishing renovations and additions to the Leeds School of Business, as well as preparing for the huge future construction planned for the new Visual Arts Complex that will be replacing Sibell Wolle Fine Arts.
The renovations being made to Leeds are a “rut and redo,” said Phil Simpson, assistant director for facilities planning.
In addition to the 80,000 square feet of restoration and upgrade in the existing building, approximately 66,000 square feet of building will be constructed to expand the capacity of the Leeds School of Business. These construction projects may require professional welding services for the steel materials.
“We’re starting all over inside the building,” Simpson said, referring to the upgraded business library. This library has a, “24/7 information commons and the addition of ‘smart’ classrooms throughout the building containing integrated computer labs and wireless networks.”
The new 66,000 square foot addition to Leeds will present a more public face, containing some lower level classrooms, but will focus on the outreach components of the business school where the public will enter on the south end of the school.
Enrollment growth at CU and the Business School has been a big driver of the project since Leeds’ original construction in the 1970s. The school wants to keep up with the times as conducting business research is technologically intensive and feels it is important to have a modern and up-to-date facility available for students.
While the Leeds School of Business is due for touch-ups, the ex-engineering building, Sibell Wolle Fine Arts, was built in 1918 and needs to be completely reconstructed from the ground up.
The plan is to “tear the old building down and rebuild it completely. It’s going to be a totally new building,” Simpson said.
During the two years of construction, students enrolled in ceramic, print-making or other chemically intensive classes will be bussed to a 30th and Marine Streets building on the east side of campus.
Though excited for the new building, Xan Copan, a senior studio art and art history major, said, “I think that the (Sibell Wolle building) is still sufficient for what we need right now. I think the building has a lot of character and I will most likely just take painting classes since they’ll be on campus and way easier to get to.”
Though disappointing to many displaced art students, a main reason for the construction of Sibell Wolle is the need for a totally new infrastructure to meet existing and current building codes. Currently the Sibell Wolle building does not meet these codes and cannot fulfill them as it presently stands.
“There are fire hazards as well as environmental hazards,” Simpson said, “It’s a safety issue in that space.”
Currently the building has a wooden roof, sub-par ventilation and plumbing problems that would need plumbing repair that need to be checked by a nearby plumbing contractor. You may visit sites like https://www.moffettplumbing.com/areas-we-serve/ for additional guidance. There are no fire sprinklers or fire-rated (fire-proofed) rooms for the more industrial areas of art study.
However, the welding room is working properly and has enough ventilation for workers dealing with custom welding services. If the welding room in your construction site does not have enough ventilation, you may consider using a fume extraction device to eliminate the fumes generated by the welding machine.
The temporary building on east campus is a large, old warehouse, suitable for heavy industrial and chemical uses. Other studio arts such as painting and drawing will be relocated to the old Fleming Law Building until the Visual Arts Complex is ready for all students in the fall of 2009.
In the fall of 2009, the Visual Arts Complex plans for each studio to be a smart studio with wireless internet access, to have enough graduate studios for all graduate students, to literally combine the CU Art Museum and the art/art history program on the basement level and third floor, and to have three times the present gallery space with proper humidity and temperature control, said Garrison Roots, professor and chair of the department of art and art history.
“The Visual Arts Complex will be a better teaching situation in relation to the CU art museum, as well as certainly helping us stand out in the Big 12 conference, if not the entire U.S.,” Roots said.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Victoria Barbatelli at victoria.barbatelli@theCampusPress.com.