On Wednesday, April 25th, Opsis Architecture, Andersen Construction and OSU Construction Management meet with Student Experience Center and Memorial Union East Wing renovation committees. The focus was restarting the planning process after a break of a little more than year. Below are notes from the three group meetings. These meetings will reoccur every other week into June.
Student Experience Center
Last week marked a crucial point in design development as meetings between architects and various project committees commenced. Current effort is focused on both budget and the re-orientation of project understanding and adaptability which was stunted earlier last year during the design/programming phase. Fortunately decisions that need to be made concerning the Student Experience Center budget doesn’t appear to be impacting floor plans or square footage, but have more to do with materials, structure, furnishings, finishing, etc.
Each floor plan was reviewed for any significant changes that may have procured over the six month break, which revealed two obvious adjustments in building layout. The HSRC will no longer be located in the facility and questions have been surfaced concerning whether the mediation room will be a tenant of the SEC or MU. With that in mind, decisions about the vacant space left behind by the HSRC and determination about the mediation room location will be at the forefront of Space Allocation Committee conversations over the next two weeks.
James Meyer, Head Project Architect from Opsis provided the committee with a tentative timeline revealing the upcoming campus planning committee at the end of June and Historic Review Commission soon after. Construction is projected to begin in the fall with the intention of a January 16th 2015 completion date.
For the next two weeks, the committee will concentrate on further examination of layout and the “Detailed Project Program” book. Questions, concerns, and alterations will need to be communicated as soon as possible in order to revise assumptions on current spatial needs and desires.
MU East Wing Renovation
On April 25th, the MU East Wing Committee and Architects from Opsis assembled to discuss the most difficult yet pertinent issue in any construction project, the budget. With legislature permitting a maximum amount of $9,177,500 for the project and ACCO projected costs amounting to $14,733,588, drastic cuts are warranted.
Due to its smaller renovation, the Memorial Union has a much more challenging delta than the Student Experience Center. A refresher in site/building analysis opened up discussion of possible changes in programming and schematic designs that could alleviate financial pressure. These consisted of tenant locations, as well as overall facility furnishing, engineering, and floor plan. The reorientation of project details is significant in that it affects both the large concern, being the Historical Review, and small yet noteworthy points such as duct work and ceiling consistencies.
Discussion on the construction of the second Ballroom was long-lasting as ideas flowed concerning space partitioning, external features and acoustical criteria. The thought behind this, and all other aspects of the renovation, is to include the least amount of things possible in an attempt to avoid future manipulations and increase room flexibility.
Another important aspect of the MU renovation is the accessibility and connectivity of the facility. With the addition of new stairs to increase pedestrian flow as well as a mezzanine level exit, elevator, and expanded Jefferson street entrance, the renovated east wing is planned to be one of the most user-friendly places on campus.
Over the next few weeks, it will be the primary priority of the Mu East Wing Committee to examine every aspect of the renovation project and find what can be cut out or done in a different way. The meeting on Wednesday wasn’t meant for decision making but instead the brainstorming of possible modifications. Finding 30-40% of the budget is quite the job but as James Meyers, Head Architect of Opsis said, “It’s a big number, which just means we need big ideas about what to do.”
Student Media Center (SEC 4th Floor)
A Meeting on April 25th between Student Media and architects from Opsis examined priorities for construction progress over the next couple of weeks. On Wednesday, primary attention was spent on scope perception and the understanding of technology deliverance and appliance. At this time, input is exceedingly valuable, where as in six months it will be more difficult to incorporate into the project.
Discrepancies in the rough floor plan and schematic final were revealed, illuminating a need for the review and resolution of layout desires. Current plans feature an open space with areas of privacy for ad sales and confidential conversations.
As of today, time is being taken to further discuss the details, and a document is being drawn up of adjacencies and so forth. Over the next two weeks project leaders will work to confirm that the most recent spreadsheet is correct while architects look over discrepancies and create images of open and private offices.