December 17, 2020

Well, 2020 is finally about to come to a close. In what has been a challenging year in many ways, I like to think about, in regard to the Swartz Hall project, how far we’ve come in just the last 12 months. In this update, I not only want to take a look at what got done in the last few weeks, but also highlight the milestone moments of the last year.

Over the last few weeks there have been some important items taking shape. Tiles, sinks, toilets, and light fixtures have been installed in some of the bathrooms. Below you can see the bathroom on the fourth floor coming together.

Swartz Hall bathroom construction

Accessibility has been a main focus of the renewal project as we ensure all visitors to Swartz Hall feel welcome. Recently, a new ramp was created and placed at the south entrance of the Old Stack Wing.

Swartz Hall ramp installation

Also in the Old Stack Wing, exterior wall framing is being completed on the second level. The picture directly below shows crews performing the wall framing.

Swartz Hall Old Stack Wing exterior framing

This is one example of how much progress has been made in the last 12 months. When the year began, the Old Stack Wing was a multistory hollow space (see below). Now, there are four levels and the space has been reimagined to allow for a new multifaith space and modern classrooms, meeting areas, and offices.

Swartz Hall Old Stack Wing empty

The upper floors of Swartz Hall were down to the studs earlier this year and the multipurpose addition was little more than a foundation.

Swartz Hall second floor

Swartz Hall addition foundation

Now, new energy-efficient windows have been installed and millwork is ongoing in the offices on the upper floors. The exterior of the multipurpose space has been constructed and glass panels installed. The panels will not only let in significant daylight, but will also connect the indoors and the outdoors and make them one.

Swartz Hall office cabinets

Swartz Hall multipurpose space exterior

In March we celebrated Women in Construction Week and shared some inspiring words from some of the crew members helping to renew Swartz Hall.

In more recent months, crews finished replacing the building’s roof with new slate. Because the significant and character-defining details of Swartz Hall have been important for the project team to preserve, the new slate that was chosen more closely matches what the slate originally looked like when Swartz Hall was first built.

Swartz Hall roof work

With each passing day, our century-old building continues to be reshaped into a modern teaching and learning space and a true campus center.

In what has been a challenging year, I want to thank all of those involved in the Swartz Hall effort for their hard work, dedication to safety, and ability to make adjustments to ensure the health of one another and that the project continues to move toward completion.

I hope everyone has a restorative holiday and I look forward to updating you on the work plan for 2021 in January. Be well.

—Ralph