Updates continue for academic buildings


Yellow and orange detour signs have become a norm around Butler University’s academic buildings in the last year could continue for the next couple of years.

Rich Michal, executive director of facilities, said Jordan Hall’s age and structure call for a unique approach and implementation in the construction aspect.

Built 90 years ago, Jordan was the very first building on Butler University’s campus. The building features masonry-plastered walls and an exterior that displays eight-inch granite stones.

“Jordan Hall was built like a castle,” Michal said, “but even castles require some maintenance from time to time.”

The risk for granite stones to fall increases  as Jordan’s structure begins to break down.

The first step of the $2 million maintenance project was to relay and secure all entryways to avoid the risk of falling stones. Now, the crews are working to finish the rest of the exterior within the next two years.

Once the exterior is finalized, crews can focus on interior renovations.

Irwin Library also recieved cosmetic changes in the past year.

In preparation for Irwin Library’s 50th anniversary coming up next month, crews redid the entry stairs and plan to replace the roof, Michal said.

Craig Hardee, director of planning and design, said all recent campus repairs are programmatic changes that are part of a larger plan to keep campus running smoothly.

With the increases in admission seen by the university in the recent years, an increased number of staff is needed, Hardee said. This calls for renovations that create space for both the students and faculty.

One update in the long-term plan is residence hall restoration.

The bottom floor of Schwitzer Hall has a unit that was newly renovated for the 2012-2013 school year.

The hallways have  new carpets, eco-friendly toilets and the ability to change the thermostat to their desired temperature.

Michal said the modernization is the new standard when updating residence halls. Updates are projected to begin next summer.

Though this past year saw an abnormally large amount of construction, Michal assures the Butler community progress is being made.

One year ago, Michal and Tom Weede, vice president of enrollment management, walked around campus and identified a list of more than 50 items that needed to be addressed throughout campus.

After a year of construction, that 50-building list now has less than 10 items.

Michal said he is very pleased with the progress made and the end results on campus.