The Gustavian Weekly

Gustavus aims to upgrade its campus: An update on the Nobel construction and renovations in residence halls | The Gustavian Weekly

By Monali Bhakta - Staff Writer | September 7, 2018 | News

The 2018-2019 academic year is in full swing, and notable architectural changes have been happening throughout the Gustavus campus. 

This includes the updated common area of the first-year residence hall, Norelius, more often referred to as Co-Ed. 

Students are known to use this space to decompress after a busy day of classes and to socialize in a casual, carefree setting with their peers. 

Since last spring, the dorm has undergone major changes within the lobby as it has acquired new modern furniture like desks, couches, and chairs. 

The pit was also renovated with a large Gustie logo painted above the fireplace, along with a modern staircase leading into it. 

Aside from Norelius, Pittman has also recently undergone lobby changes with a similar modern flair. 

These residence hall changes have all happened in less than a year. 

By making these grand changes, the college hopes to enhance the living situation of current and future Gusties. 

While the facilities staff have been working tirelessly on these plans, they have also looked forward to continuing the Nobel Hall expansion. 

Currently, there are four science-affiliated departments in the building, including Biology, Geology, Chemistry, and Geography. 

These fields of study are planning to relocate out of Nobel next summer when the southern part of the building will be done. 

The goal is for Nobel to have space for the Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Molecular Biology, Geography, Geology, Physics and Environmental Studies all in one building. 

“Additionally, HES will teach their Anatomy & Physiology courses in Nobel, and Nobel Hall will connect with the Schaefer Fine Arts Center via a Laboratory Theatre and a renovated/expanded Theatre/Arts lobby,” Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies Julie Bartley said.  

As opposed to the previous years, Nobel Hall will look entirely different than it has in the past. 

This is because it will be connected to the Fine Arts building in an attempt by the Curriculum Committee to bring scientific and artistic learning together. 

It will become a STEAM building which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. 

The individual who is currently in charge of the Nobel expansion is Fath-Allah Oudghiri, the Associate Vice President for Facilities Management. 

Oudghiri has worked on this project since August of 2016 and has been overseeing the “schematic design, design development, and construction document phases.” 

Many individuals who use the building, such as Julie Bartley, worked with campus stakeholders and the architecture firm, Hastings & Chivetta, to work out the exact details of the project. 

This consisted of Gustavus faculty working with engineers, architects, and designers. 

They were able to give the final construction documents to Kraus Anderson Construction Company, which became the construction manager firm for the project. 

They were able to use the documents as a guide to build the project, while also creating a specific budget and time schedule in order to get it done successfully. 

The company hired over fifty contractors who carried out the trades needed for the expansion. 

Throughout the Construction phase, Oudghiri has been considered the owner’s representative as he works with both architects and contractors. 

According to Oudghiri, “The Nobel Hall expansion and renovation project is being implemented into two phases: Phase one started in Feb. 2018 and will be completed in July 2019. It consists of the south expansion that you can currently observe on the south side of the existing Nobel Hall building. 

This 85,000 square feet expansion comprises a basement level, three floor levels above ground and a mechanical penthouse at the top. 

This expansion will be connected to the Schaefer Art building. A laboratory theater located across from the Anderson The-ater is part of this expansion as well as a cafe and a large lobby where the arts will be celebrated. 

Phase two will start in July 2019 and will be completed in Aug. 2020. 

It consists of the renovation of the 90,000 square feet building and a 15,000 square feet expansion to the north. 

This north expansion will have three floor levels and a large two story atrium where the sciences will be celebrated.”

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