Board of Trustees approves Alter renovation

By: Lydia Rogers ~Staff Writer~

The Xavier Board of Trustees has officially approved the $18 million renovation to Alter Hall.

Until closing for the Spring 2013 semester, Alter had been Xavier’s primary classroom building for over 50 years. Since its construction, nearly every Xavier student and faculty member has passed through its doors.

Its inability to be used as a learning space has had a strong impact on the function of the campus., making the creation of new classroom spaces (like those in the Cintas Center and the Alumni Center) necessary.

The financial approval for renovation seems to have finally set the long-discussed plans into motion. Annual operating flows (and not any new debt) will finance the project, which will begin in May is anticipated to conclude in August 2015 in time to welcome the incoming class of 2019.

Organizers and the Board of Trustees hope that the renovations will perserve Alter’s legacy as on campus while providing students with new learning opportunities.

“We’re thrilled to restore Alter, which is an iconic building, filled with memories and tradition for Xavier faculty and students past and present,“ senior vice president and CFO for Xavier Beth Amyot said in the press release. “Xavier is known for being a four-year, residential, Jesuit university with superior academics for undergraduates as well as graduate and professional students. This renewed building will better serve our growing base of students.”

The press release also cited Xavier’s commitment to sustainability and financial responsibility as reason to proceed with renovating the building rather than complete demolition and reconstruction. As part of the building’s renovation, Alter will be gutted and will undergo partial demolition.

Planners hope the renovation will help update the campus’ learning facilities and provide the University with a “21st century teaching and learning facility supporting the entire campus with four stories of modern classrooms.” The space will also allow faculty and students to have greater flexibility and collaboration in the classroom.

Upon its completion, the building will once again be the location where many core curriculum classes are taught.

The newly-renovated Alter Hall will also house the deans’ offices for the College of Arts and Sciences, Xavier’s three honors programs and cross-disciplinary partnerships, as it did before being closed.