Sawdust filled the air as workers diligently labored over electrical wiring and cutting saws in Elizabeth College Tuesday afternoon.
Renovations to Elizabeth College that began in early October continued over Winter Break.
Kim Oatman, chief facilities officer, said the Elizabeth renovation project is moving along well and is on schedule for move-in in early August in preparation for the fall semester.
“The construction work is basically progressing from the top floor to bottom floor,” Oatman said. “The ninth floor is getting new walls built right now while the second floor is still having plumbing and electrical rough-in work done.”
Oatman said the projected cost is around $8.8 million, which is $1.6 million more than the originally estimated $7.2 million.
The funding for the Elizabeth renovation comes from the housing department’s budget and not the University’s general fund. The loans for the Elizabeth College construction are being funded by tax-exempt municipal bonds from the University.
Pete Reyna, senior project manager, said all of the demolition inside of Elizabeth College is finished and the workers are completing the construction work.
“We are tearing everything out and making it look pretty,” Reyna said. “All of the rooms on floors two through nine will look pretty much the same.”
Reyna said the heating, ventilation and air conditioning has been torn down and replaced with brand-new systems which will be more energy-efficient and will be leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) certified.
“They will still have community bathrooms and the same sized rooms; everything will just be brand-new,” Reyna said.
Looking at the exterior of the building, few changes are noticeable. Oatman said roughly 25 workers are inside the building each work day.
Reyna said there are 37 workers total on the staff working on the renovations.
“Not all of the workers are in the building at the same time,” Reyna said. “We have one shift at a time working.”
A new lobby with a multi-purpose room, offices, piano lounge and “Eagle’s Nest” are being constructed in place of the old lobby. There will also be a smaller lobby on the far side of the first floor.
David Wilson, director of housing and residence life, said 259 students were housed in Elizabeth last spring. Students are being housed in Old Richmond.
He said other residential colleges will be getting work done to them in coming years.