Building 1 remodel to begin in the spring, staff to be displaced by Anna Duran

Get ready to really learn where things are on campus. A major renovation of Building 1 is set to temporarily scatter the staff and faculty located there.

The remodel is expected to begin in early March and be completed by the start of the spring term of 2014, taking approximately 10 months.

The design concept is being handled by Envision, the architectural firm which handled the remodeling of the student center at ISU, as well as the Welcome Center at UNI.

The cost of the construction is not being paid for by tuition. A long-term lease held by ISU and property tax levies will provide funding in the estimated amount of $4.5 million.

Building 1 will remain mostly intact, although it will be gutted. The plans include an addition of 12,000 square feet, which will increase the space by 50 percent.

Spring of 2012 saw record enrollment in Ankeny, with 17,344 students on campus. With enrollment expected to remain close to those figures, Laurie Wolf, dean of student services, began researching the possibilities of a remodel at that time.

“Aesthetics is part of it,” Wolf said. Also important is streamlining departments, increasing efficiency, and providing better service to students.

The new plans include a room for hosting new and prospective students, which would also serve a purpose for holding social events.

Remodeling requires a full evacuation of the staff and faculty from the offices. Information regarding exactly where departments will go is expected in mid-February.

“It’s a big change. Staff will be working in smaller areas. I wish there was a whole new building we could move into, but if there was, we wouldn’t need to remodel,” Wolf said.

Student services will be scattered across campus in six separate buildings. Way-finding signs will be posted around campus. While Building 1 staff needs to move in, this means other staff and organizations will have to move also, or share space.

“We want to be good neighbors,” Wolf said when she spoke to the Student Activities Council.

“It kind of hits everybody. It’s going to be messy, but it needs to be done. The Physical Plant is doing a great job getting people relocated. Anytime you take a building offline is difficult, but the administration is doing a great job with a bad situation,” said Joe DeHart, the executive director of institutional effectiveness and assistant to the president.

“Hopefully, it won’t be chaos. There are always challenges,” said Mark Baethke, director of the physical plant.

The biggest challenge lies in relocating staff, as well as working around the staff that will remain in the building during construction. The primary purpose is to improve student services, Baethke said.

Building 1 as it stands was originally constructed in 1981, and proposals to remodel were put forth in 1998 and 2005, but rejected.

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