Renovations Around Campus Continue



Construction at Colgate hit a fever pitch over the summer, with construction crews working on four major projects across campus. Renovations to Lathrop Hall, 110 Broad Street and the Colgate Inn as well as breaking ground for the brand new “Trudy Fitness Center” kept Capital Projects busy.


“The last period of time that we had a very vigorous workload was during the Ho and Case period,” Manager of Capital Projects Joe Bello said. “This was that busy.”


The most visible project on campus is the Trudy Fitness Center. The new facility will be located adjacent to the Lineberry Natatorium and the Huntington Gymnasium. A small group of parents and alumni expressed interest in funding the project, and after hearing concerns over the long lines and inadequate facilities in the Little Fitness Center, administrators opened up a conversation on a new facility.


After discussion among the donors, the Board of Trustees and senior administration officials, the University decided to go ahead with the project, imposing a deadline of January 2011 to allow the class of 2011 to enjoy the facility during their last semester at Colgate.


The 14,800 square foot facility, a significant upgrade from the Little Fitness Center’s 6,000 square foot space, will allow for two stories and a 50-car parking lot. The upper floor will be devoted solely to cardio machines, and will be able to accommodate up to 30 treadmills, 25 ellipticals, 18 bikes and six Stairmasters, according to estimates provided by Capital Projects.


The lower floor will be devoted to weightlifting equipment, and will contain 14 plate-loaded benches, 11 cable machines, eight squat racks, two dumbbell racks and miscellaneous warm-up equipment.


“I believe it will accommodate a growing need [in exercise facilities] that has not been met by the current center,” Bello said.


Students echoed Bello’s sentiments.


“As much as I love Colgate and value all of the facilities, I quickly identified the athletic buildings as an area more in need for improvement than others,” sophomore Scott Marschell said. “Although the renovation is not going towards the academic mission of the University, I still feel as though the improvement is necessary…the gym’s condition was worse and the urgency was greater.”


“I’m definitely excited,” first-year Eric Reimund said. “The old one (Little Fitness Center) is certainly showing some wear and tear with age.”


In conjunction with the Trudy project, Capitol Projects devoted much time to another Broad Street property, 110 Broad Street. In order to house additional first-year participants in the Leadership Options for Tomorrow (LOFT) program, the University converted the former Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) house into a residence hall.

“This was probably one of the most significant accomplishments of the summer,” Bello said. “From start to finish, from design through construction, [the renovation of 110 Broad Street] was completed in 12 weeks to accommodate the 80 to 90 extra incoming first-years.”


The 110 Broad Street residence needed many upgrades, so crews completely revamped the student rooms, retooled the kitchen and installed a sprinkler system and emergency exits.


However, reactions to the housing first-years away from the main campus were mixed.


“I would expect the freshmen of 110 Broad to be even rowdier than your typical eager freshman,” Marschall said. “The location alone of the house is risky, not to mention entrusting a beautiful college ex-fraternity house to a group of ‘inexperienced’ first year college students.”


Additional projects on campus included renovations to Lathrop Hall and the Colgate Inn, both of which will take place in stages. Work on Lathrop Hall concluded last week, and the Colgate Inn overhaul will begin soon.


“[Lathrop Hall] was archaic,” Project Manager of the Lathrop Hall and Colgate Inn renovations Robert Dwyer said. “Basically you had a 100 year old building with labs and stuff that haven’t been renovated in a long time.”


Due to the completion of the Ho Science Center in 2007, classrooms in Lathrop have fallen into disuse, and the renovations were primarily aimed at keeping Lathrop as up-to-date as the other campus buildings.


Workers created offices for the Dean of Diversity, the Dean of the College, the Off-campus and International Studies department, the Upstate Institute and The Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (the COVE), the last of which allowed students to reclaim the COVE’s former offices in East Hall. The renovations will allow these offices to work together by shortening the distance between related departments.


As the Lathrop project comes to a close, workers will begin to shift resources to the Colgate Inn. Planned renovations include building a patio, new kitchen, service elevator, suites and relocating the Colgate Tavern.


“We’re looking to engage the tavern with the community,” Dwyer said.


“The Colgate Inn renovations are for functional purposes,” Vice President of Finance and Administration David Hale said. “It is really about addressing inherent building problems and challenges.”