Costly Madeleva renovation prompts new plans
By MOLLY McVOY
Saint Mary's Editor
In the next several years, Madeleva Hall will more than likely not exist on Saint Mary's campus.
As part of the Master Plan, the College has decided to build a new classroom building that will replace Madeleva, and probably lead to the removal of the old building.
"As we started to determine the cost of all of our options, the dollars per square foot for renovating Madeleva got as high as building a new one," Keith Dennis, vice president of finance and administration said.
The original goal of this phase of the Master Plan was to renovate Madeleva to correct some of the problems with the building. Several fire codes needed to be met and plumbing and air circulation were a problem. Currently, Madeleva does not have an adequate air exchange system, according to Dennis. In addition, the size of the faculty offices needed to be increased.
"The offices in [Madeleva] tend to be 95-100 square feet in size," Dennis said. "The appropriate size is typically 150 square feet. Our goal was to make every office 150 square feet with a window."
Currently, the classrooms in Madeleva are used for most of the College's liberal arts classes as well as several science and math courses.
"What we're planning is a modern office and classroom building," said John DeLee, director of facilities at the College. "It will have modern ventilating and lighting systems."
The new facility will also be the home for the Center for Intercultural Leadership, a result of a Lilly Foundation grant the College received this year.
"With the center for Intercultural Leadership in the building, it became obvious we had to have an addition," Dennis said. "It [the renovation] just got unmanageable."
In addition to cost considerations, building a new structure will relieve some of the logistical issues a long renovation would cause.
"With any moderate amount of renovation, half of Madeleva would have to be shut down for a year," Dennis said. "Where do we put all those classes?"
The new building will likely be located north west of where the science hall is currently located, but plans for the new building have not yet been drawn. A meeting is planned with MPA, the architectural firm hired for the construction. MPA, run by Bill Coleman, also designed the plans for Regina Hall.
Although the fate of Madeleva has not yet been decided, Dennis thinks it is most likely that the building will be torn down.
"The other dilemma is what to do with Madeleva," Dennis said. "It could come down or could get converted to a multipurpose center. Probably the most likely outcome will be to tear [Madeleva] down."
In addition to the Madeleva renovations, this stage of the Master Plan calls for converting the dining hall into a student activities building. A new structure will be connected to serve as the dining hall.
At their weekend meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the schematics of the buildings and gave the go-ahead for construction documents.
"Our goal is to have the construction documents done this summer," Dennis said.
No firm goals are set for breaking ground on either structure because construction plans and fundraising are not yet completed.
All News Stories for Wednesday, February 28, 2001