The updated science building is starting to be used by students. Photo by Paige Horsley.
ALLIE MCKIBBEN | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
The newly renovated Gallahue Hall is one step closer to being finished as the barricades have been removed. Further construction occurs nights and weekends, meaning the building is now open for classes.
The renovation and expansion of Gallahue, Holcomb Building and Levinson Family Hall was a $100 million project that added 44,000 square feet to the now improved Sciences Complex.
The renovation of Gallahue is the third and final phase of the “sciences renovation and expansion project,” which has been ongoing since 2019. The renovation gutted Gallahue and added new lounge areas, study spaces, labs and classrooms.
The barricades that previously deterred students from entering into Gallahue doors, as well as the pathway between Jordan and Gallahue, have been removed.
Luanne McNulty, a chemistry professor and the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is the academic liaison to the construction. She said she is very fortunate that the Gallahue construction has not had many delays. This is due to the prompt pre-order of materials that beat out many of the supply chain issues that arose later, causing other projects to be stalled.
McNulty said that the goal of the project was to give students a custom-made space to meet their educational needs and interests.
“[Butler staff] wanted people to be able to work in spaces that were equivalent to their abilities, and that means all of our students and faculty and staff,” McNulty said. “So if you come to campus and you’re doing a lab class, you should be working in a space that matches your ability … our students are incredibly talented. They’re smart, they’re hardworking, they’re determined. I think our spaces previously were a barrier.”
Junior health sciences major Dimitar Donovski has classes in both Gallahue and Levinson Family Hall, which opened for classes in fall 2021. He has already utilized the new spaces — including late-night studying in the Ruth Lilly Science Library in Holcomb, which is open 24 hours a day.
“[If] I want to go in a study room, I can do that [in Holcomb],” Donovski said. “Or if I just want to sit at a table and do work, I can do that too.”
Along with study spaces, McNulty said that in both buildings, Butler also wanted to create open spaces with soft seating for students to gather and collaborate, as well as for students of various majors to be able to share a common space. She said this will strengthen the student community.
Jaqueline Mullins, a senior art and biology double major, said she likes the openness of the science buildings and using the space to work with friends. She enjoys studying in the corners of Levinson and appreciates how the renovation left some of the original structure of Gallahue.
“I liked how they kept the look of Gallahue the same,” Mullins said. “I’ve been inside it a couple times because I have class in there, and I like how the staircase is still there.”
Although the main renovation of Gallahue is complete, there are minor touch-ups that still need to be done, such as the completion of some classrooms and labs. McNulty said she is working on finalizing signage to help people navigate the science buildings and that she is also waiting on audiovisual supplies and other miscellaneous items due to supply chain issues. The remainder of the renovations are expected to be completed in March.