One of IUP’s oldest standing buildings will live on with new purpose.
Elkin Hall, which closed after the 2015 spring semester, will be renovated instead of demolished, as a Wednesday presentation in Sprowls Hall’s McVitty Auditorium detailed.
Alan Schlossberg and Anthony DiFulvio, architects from Perkins Eastman, joined Student House of Representatives Chair Brian Swatt (freshman, political science) and Alex Kavounas (junior, marketing), the Student Government Association’s director of internal affairs, at the presentation.
Since the closing of Elkin, Perkins Eastman has been conducting surveys of the building to determine the best course of action for the former non-traditional residence hall. Perkins Eastman was deciding on whether to tear the building down or renovate it.
After an examination of its condition, Elkin was labeled as a two on a condition value rating scale ranging from one to four – one being poor and four being excellent. The two represented fair condition, and the consensus was that the building should be renovated.
In the feasibility study, it was determined that the whole building will not be renovated at once.
Rather, Perkins Eastman and IUP are planning on an estimated $2.7-million renovation for just the first floor. This floor would then be used for the two organizations currently housed in other buildings: The Center for Student Life in Pratt Hall and the African American Cultural Center in Delaney Hall.
The renovation will house these organizations in both wings of the building so there will be more space for the organizations to grow.
As of now, the Center for Student Life is currently occupying a little more than 3,000 square feet and the AACC is occupying about 1,600 square feet. In the new space for the organizations, about 6,000 square feet of extra space for the organizations to use will be available in their new feature.
There were some issues raised, however, including the likelihood of not being able to move any staircases or elevators. Also, the building contains many load-bearing walls, meaning they hold up much of the ceiling and floors above, so the potential removal of any walls must be considered or renovations could cost more than projected.
The building will reportedly have many features at the disposal of students and faculty, including open conference rooms. There will also be one central entrance where visitors will enter into a singular lobby.
The project is estimated to take 15 months, and construction alone will likely take six.
At the end of the presentation, Kate Linder, the associate vice president for student affairs, spoke on behalf of IUP.
“The university doesn’t know what is going to be the best use for the upper floors yet, and the university doesn’t want to wait for a multicultural space for student engagement.”