Alter under construction

By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~

Every morning, students walk to their classes and witness the transformation that Alter Hall
has made since its partial demolition after the 2013-14 academic year. After months of planning, the Alter Hall Project to create a new academic building is underway.

The main goal of the Alter Hall Project is to construct an area where scheduled classes will be held but also allow for more open classrooms for teamwork during free time. In addition, the renovated building will house the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“During the summer, we are planning on moving the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the two Associate Deans and the two administrative staff into the building,” Vice President, Facility Management and head chairman of the Physical Plant Project Bob Sheeran said.

Sheeran stated the project is well on its way to be finished for the 2015-16 academic year.

Since the start of the “master plan framework” in 2006, Alter Hall has been a major project on Xavier’s campus. Before the demolition, Alter Hall was considered the heart of the academic mall. Nearly every student walked through the central classroom building during the 50 years it stood. The university decided to close the building after it was reported as not being up to code.

At the time, Alter Hall held offices such as the Bursar’s office, the Honors program, the university’s Writing Center and the former Center for Adult and Parttime Students (CAP) program, but these programs permanently relocated to other buildings. It was a building that supported the Core curriculum, enabled cross-disciplinary partnerships and made Xavier’s Honors program possible. Alter Hall is being recreated in order to allow the building to keep up with the 21st century and to allow for a larger academic space for flexible classroom environments.

The high-quality environment that will be created will accomodate the growing number of students now attending Xavier, as well as allow for more space for group collaborations and breakout sessions from the classroom. “There are several stages that are happening right now for the project. One of these stages is the concrete frame stage and the other is the stage of creating the exterior skin for the building,” Sheeran said.SONY DSC

During the beginning of the project, some demolition was performed on each end of the building in order to create large, flexible spaces on the sides of the building for students to use for collaboration and teamwork. As the construction continues, workers are pushing forward with the pouring of the concrete frame. With the first concrete floor already finished, the workers are creating columns that will prepare for the pouring of the second concrete floor on both the north and south ends of the building.

Concrete work will continue for the next 35 to 40 days as the workers ascend within the building. While pouring the concrete floor, the exterior skin (the “envelope”) of the building is also being created. Workers have begun with metal framing, which is utilized on all of the floors, and will continue to place an exterior sheeting grade on the metal in order to allow the brick to be placed against the surface. Smaller projects are also happening as the framework and floors are put together.

Electricians have begun to run wires throughout the building to serve light fixtures and projection screens for future classrooms. The elevator shaft and the plumbing and piping on the ground floor of the building are also being renovated. Once this phase of the project is finished, the building will have a few more renovations before it will be ready to open in the fall.

“In general, the building will be under roof by the first of the year. Once the building is watertight, there will be more emphasis on the interior work that will finish up in May. Then the furniture and technology will be moved into the building over the summer allowing, it to open in the fall,” Sheeran said. Organizers bellieve faculty will be pleased with project’s progress.

“The project is working on schedule and on budget. All the measurements we use to rate the success of our project are going very well so we are happy with its progress,” Sheeran said. More information about about Alter Hall and a live feed of the building’s progress is available on Xavier’s website: http://