Jan 15, 2014 11:35 PM by Erin Steuber
The spring semester is underway at UL and thousands of students are back on campus. For most students the biggest change is their schedule, but for the College of the Arts it's the building itself. Renovations have started at Fletcher Hall, and while the majority of classes have moved out of the building, some have no choice but to stay. But the construction is a teaching lesson all its own.
"There are a lot of lessons here for architecture and design," said Dean Tom Sammons of the School of Architecture and Design.
For these students the renovations will act as an immersive learning tool.
"I think it's exciting because you get to see it in action. I think its a good experience," said architecture student Madison Miller.
Fletcher Hall opened in 1977, and because of budget constraints, the atrium was never covered causing extensive water damage.
"We're really happy to have this water proofing project came along. It will improve the building, which will really help us consolidate some of the studios that are not in this building, and also expand what we do in the building," said Dean Gordon Brooks of the College of the Arts.
Hallways once exposed to the elements are in the first stages of being sealed off.
"These walls will eventually be glassed in, and so at that point, the hallways will obviously be climate controlled on a permanent basis," said Facilities Director Bill Crist.
To avoid any overwhelming classroom distraction, deteriorating concrete and outdoor railings were demolished over winter break.
"The first benefit was to obviously stop the leaking, and stop the water infiltration. The secondary benefit is that we picked up additional square footage," said Crist
All of the outdoor spaces will be enclosed, adding nearly 20,000 square feet of classroom space.
The project is set to be complete by next year.