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F wing renovations right on schedule

By Samantha Kaspar
On April 7, 2013

  • GSU's Got Talent winner Audrey LaBranche

Governors State University is excited to be approaching the completion of the renovations that have been taking place in the campus's F wing.
Plans for renovation began in 1995, when GSU hired an engineering firm to determine how the university's science buildings met with Illinois'
established codes. After the evaluations, GSU was put on a waiting list to receive funds from the state of Illinois for renovations. In 2008, GSU made it to the top of the list, and the project became a reality.
With a $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation Academic Research Infrastructure, as well as $22 million funded by the Illinois Capital Development board, the 80,000 square foot renovation will modernize GSU's science and health science facilities.
The Chicago Heights Construction Company broke ground in October 2011, and began the first of two phases in the renovation process, with phase one nearing it's June 2013 target date for completion.
According to Karen D'Arcy, Professor of Analytical Chemistry and Principle Investigator for the NSF-ARI grant, the facilities completed after phase one will include 15 small research labs where students and professors will work together. A
chemical storeroom, sbout six chemistry and physics labs, and approximately six or seven biology labs will also be added.
Upon completion of phase one, the university will dive right into phase two. These renovations will include labs and offices for math, computer sciences, nursing, and communication disorders, and are estimated to be completed in the spring of 2014.
Incoming freshmen will also have their labs in the newly remodeled F wing. A renovated lecture hall, that will hold about 90 students, will be added. The new lecture hall will be GSU's largest classroom. The hall should be available for classes in the fall of 2013.
"Everything is really running on schedule", said D'Arcy "The construction company has been working very seriously to complete the renovations on time".
As it nears it's completion, the F wing is beginning to look like a university building, with new flooring, painting, countertops, and plumbing.
The grand opening for phase one will take place this coming August.
Along with the F wing renovations, GSU also has a short term plan to improve the sound quality and audio visuals in the Hall of Governors, as well as a master plan that calls for a new student center closer to the campus's main entrance.
According to D'Arcy, "There are significant plans in place to help us grow and have better facilities for teaching and learning".

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