Crews have been at work this summer building Raymond F. LeChase Hall, the first major building to be constructed in the Wilson Quadrangle on River Campus in 30 years. A four-story, 65,000-square-foot facility, it provides a home for the Warner School and will feature a suite of 14 classrooms on the first floor that will serve the College during the day and the Warner School in the evening, providing an efficient solution to the critical need for classroom space on River Campus. The Warner School will be housed on the upper three floors, unified by a three-story atrium, with additional classrooms, offices, and spaces specifically designed to support the preparation and professional development of educators and the conduct of educational research and reform work.
Over the past decade, Warner has grown faster than any other academic division within the University. At more than 600 full- and part-time graduate students and 60 faculty and staff members, the Warner School has outgrown its current building space in Dewey Hall. The new building will allow for up to an additional 20 percent growth, enabling the school to strengthen its existing programs.
Raymond F. LeChase Hall is tentatively scheduled to open in January 2013.
Renovations to campus dining facilities this summer include a new design for Danforth Dining Hall and a new campus market.
“Throughout colleges and universities, we’re finding student customers are more savvy about choices available to them,” says Cam Schauf, director of Campus Dining Service and Auxiliary Operations. “They have more experience with foods with international flair—they want authentic food, and they’re smart enough to know the difference.
“And they want to know where their food is coming from,” he adds. “We’ve seen the need to take the mystery out.”
Mystery is the last thing to be found in the new Danforth design. Walls are coming down, cooking is moving to open stations around the facility, and fresh ingredients are front and center so that students can watch—and direct—the cooking of their meals.”
“I see it as dining transparency. Everything is right in front of you, and you see what you’re getting,” says Bradley Halpern ’12. He’s met weekly with Schauf as the cochair of the Projects and Services Committee, a student group that serves as a liaison with campus administrators, and next year he’ll continue his involvement as president of the Students’ Association.
The new campus market—POD, or Provisions on Demand—replaces the Corner Store in Douglass Dining Hall and will occupy the spot formerly occupied by Hillside Café in Susan B. Anthony Hall.
Work will begin in September on a new residence hall on the River Campus.
The 52,000-square-foot building, planned in front of Anderson and Wilder towers, will be the first new residence hall on campus in 42 years.
Laurel Contomanolis, director of residential life and housing services, says the housing is needed to accommodate the University’s growing enrollment.
She says her office examined students’ needs when developing plans for the new residence hall, which will cater primarily to sophomores, juniors, and seniors because of future plans to convert Lovejoy Hall to freshman housing.
Plans for the new five-story building include room for 148 beds—a combination of singles, doubles, and adjoining doubles.
The focus of the new residence hall is to build community among its residents and the residents of nearby Anderson Tower and Wilder Tower, Contomanolis says.
“We want to get students out and get them to interact more,” she says.
In addition to study rooms and lounges on each floor, the first floor will include a variety of communal spaces. One half of the floor will serve as a gathering spot for residents of the building—there will be a large room that could be used for gatherings or gaming tournaments.
The other half of the floor will be open to all students. Campus groups will be able to reserve a dance rehearsal space, music rehearsal space, or a conference room. These kinds of spaces are in high demand around campus and will be helpful to have in the new building, Contomanolis says.
Outside the building the plan is to re-landscape Founder’s Court, creating outdoor community space, says Jose Fernandez, executive director of campus planning, design, and construction management.
“What’s really cool about this building is that it’s going to give us a chance to redefine and revitalize the area and create a genuine quad.”
The new building is slated to open for the 2012-13 academic year.
One of the undergraduate chemistry labs in Hutchison Hall is being updated this summer, modernizing the workspace that has been in place for nearly 40 years. Working with faculty and students from the Department of Chemistry, Campus Planning Design and Construction Management is renovating a 2,400-square-foot lab on the first floor of Hutchison, hoping to create a new model for how University chemistry labs should be designed and renovated.
Joseph Dinnocenzo, a professor of chemistry, says the lab was developed with several goals in mind—all of which aim to enhance student learning.
One goal is to encourage collaboration and discussion. To that end, team workspace is being constructed to the center of the lab so students can collaborate in small groups. There, Dinnocenzo says, students can better discuss the planning, execution, and analysis of experiments in the lab.
Another goal is to modernize the lab with new equipment. “If you want a modern scientific education, you need a modern facility,” Dinnocenzo says. Additionally, the lab was designed with workflow in mind—aiming to reduce wait time for students who need to use lab materials.
It will also will be equipped with large LCD screens and drop-down screens that will allow all students to view instructional recordings
The new lab will be a green lab. Students will each have their own fume hood with high-tech filters that clean and recirculate the air, resulting in an energy cost reduction of about 96 percent. In-house vacuum systems will also save several thousand gallons of water that are currently used in chemistry labs.
“We’re really excited about this. We think it will enhance training and education and will basically take some really tired labs and give them a really spiffy look,” Fernandez says.
The hope is that the new lab space works well for students and its design can be rolled out to the other chemistry labs in Hutchison.
New signs will greet those entering the River Campus or the Medical Center from Elmwood Avenue. The University of Rochester sign on the bridge over Elmwood Avenue is get- ting a facelift in August. A perforated metal screen with the University logo will cover the concrete facing. On the opposite side of the bridge, a new sign reading “University of Rochester Medical Center” will be added, welcoming those headed toward the Medical Center campus. It will have a “clean, bright look,” Fernandez says.
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