Roughly 340 faculty members will be moved into temporary offices in the process of renovating two of the largest classroom and office buildings on Eastern Michigan University’s, campus.
The extensive renovations to the science building, Mark Jefferson, are under way, and work on Pray-Harrold is set to begin in the near future.
The faculty members’ offices are being moved to areas without construction, which have been named the “swing space.”
Because it is a long and difficult procedure to find temporary room for so many people, a Colorado-based consultant, Paulien & Associates, has been hired to make the best use of space.
According to Scott Storrar, director of planning and construction, the swing space process is crucial.
“It would allow construction in areas currently occupied by faculty and staff,” Storrar said. “It will minimize interruptions and disruptions of noise, dirt, and the vibrations of construction of classes, office functions, and general work.”
Storrar said there will be an open forum meeting scheduled for late January in Pray-Harrold.
“The intent is to present the plans for Pray-Harrold to show what will be done and to discuss swing space, and the impacts it may have to the campus community,” Storrar said. “As of this date, the open meeting has not been scheduled.”
The primary objective of the swing space idea is to use on-campus space for the move without the use of portable offices.
The most desirable places for the move are places that have telephones, computers and large continuous blocks of room for use.
Subcommittees comprised of faculty members have been given tours of possible spaces for the move.
The needs are based on course offerings, student enrollment and credit hour counts, and might evolve throughout the project, according to Storrar. But he emphasized construction projects and swing space needs will fluctuate on a semester by semester basis.
Faculty and staff might move to Hoyt, which has space for 240 offices. The lounges in Hoyt might also be used for departmental space.
The third and fourth floor of King Hall and have been mentioned and the space would allow 40–50 personnel.
The office area of the Bowen Field House has space for 10-12 faculty members.
McKenny Union, Halle Library and the Student Center might also be used for temporary space.
“The process for swing space has been very collaborative and positive so far,” said Storrar.
“The Education, Environment, and Facilities Committee is an Academic Affairs sponsored committee,” Storrar said. “It fosters a ‘Swing Space Subcommittee’ comprised of one academic administrator, two faculty members and one Physical Plant representative.”
According to Storrar, the Subcommittee reviewed all buildings on campus for possible swing space locations and made assessments and recommendations.
“The faculty and staff of Pray-Harrold have anticipated being relocated for approximately 17 months,” Storrar said. “Our plans are to move the faculty and staff out of Pray-Harrold at the end of the winter 2010 semester, in approximately the first week of May.
“Then move them back into Pray-Harrold after construction is completed, to be ready for the fall 2011 semester during move-in in late August 2011,” he said.
Storrar also discussed plans for Mark Jefferson.
“For the Science Complex, the moves are phased depending on the construction activities,” Storrar said. “Currently, there is a handful of faculty temporarily located in Halle. The majority of future phases will self-house the faculty in the existing building and new addition.”
The last phase of construction in Mark Jefferson is scheduled for May and might require the temporary relocation of approximately 40–60 people outside the building.
Sierra Cummings a freshman and psychology major, said, “I’m glad that Eastern is doing construction on Mark Jefferson. If that means that a couple of teachers have to be temporary moved, I think it is well worth it,” she said.
“It is about time Eastern renovates Mark Jefferson,” said Shawney Monts, a junior psychology major. “I didn’t even know that teachers were being moved around, so they must be doing a good job of doing it.”