Update as of November 15, 2012

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To:  Colleagues interested in the Burrowes project 
From:  Susan 

The project is lagging a bit behind schedule primarily because it has taken longer than expected to prepare what is known as "the program."  The program consists of a line by line listing, by unit, of the number and type of every office or other space and the category of occupants (faculty, staff, graduate bullpen, and so forth) .  Then, again by unit, the numbers of each type of room are determined (i.e. department x needs 10 tenure line faculty offices).  After that, needs were identified for appropriate spaces for this same number and types of occupants. For example, we identified the need for a large conference room for the English department and language research labs for faculty in the School of Languages and Literatures.  Finally, the program includes projections for future needs.  

Happily, this program stage is now complete.   This may sound simple, but it isn't!  In fact, in most building projects, this program stage takes the better part of a year. 

The next step is a review of the program by appropriate officials in OPP and the president's office.  That will happen in early December.  At that time, a decision will be made on which of three options, representing different degrees of structural change, to pursue.  The one that all of us, including the architects, favor is one that would remove the dual staircases and expand the "knuckles" of the building, that space between the central core and the wings.   However, this is a more expensive option so approval is not a sure thing.  We should know this by mid-December and anticipate a presentation to interested faculty and staff at this time where the architects outline some of the major features of the general plan that will be implemented. 

Meanwhile, the engineers have conducted a thorough review of the mechanical systems and are making preliminary plans.  Final plans will have to wait until one of the options is chosen.  The architects are beginning the part of the design process whereby desired adjacencies are identified and sketched (for example, an obvious desired adjacency is that faculty in each department should be clustered together.  But there are less obvious pieces of the puzzle too and opportunities to create new spaces less constrained by the existing configuration of the building. 

Once the president decides on which option is to be pursued, we can work on specific plans for staging of the project and when each part of the building will need to be vacated and where temporary spaces will be.   I thank you for your patience and hope I will have more concrete news next month.

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