It was a project that Foley, a projects coordinator, and Adams, a project technologist, both from Facilities Management, got excited about from the get go when they realized this was not just a renovation; it was something they could take some design liberties with, creating a space that was very unique.
“Not only were the dean and his team invested, but they were on board from day one with our vision of the space and how it would function and look,” commented Mr. Foley. “It was refreshing to work with a group that was so open minded and who had confidence in Facilities Management’s ability to produce a quality space. That’s exciting.”
The renovation was not a small job. Foley said they spent countless hours planning the layout, function, design and aesthetes and several more weeks finding contractors who could make it a reality. “We soon realized this project required a full demolition and reconstruction of the space compared to similar projects that largely incorporate architectural upgrades only.
For example, because of the age of the building we were required to safely remove the existing hazardous materials used in the original construction, adding to the complexity of coordinating a construction project in an occupied building.”
“We are very happy with the result and how the space looks and functions. We feel this will be a model lecture theatre for Memorial because it has the whole package: Great layout, functionality as well as state of the art multi-media capabilities,” said Foley.
The theatre, which seats 137 students cost about half a million dollars to complete and includes two digital, high definition projectors; two 10’ wide screens; a smart podium for the instructor; as well as a 42” conference monitor hung from ceiling, which allows instructors to see slides or presentation material without having to look behind him/her.
The lecture theatre opening coincided with a refurbishing of the front lobby of the Physical Education Building. A project that the dean, Dr. Antony Card, believes was long overdue.
“We have a facility that is so different from anything else on campus. And we now have a foyer that reflects how diverse we are as a school. It’s a space that students are gathering in and feel like they can enjoy, which is great to see. It has brought new life to the building and we’re extremely excited about that,” said Dr. Card.