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Old Crescent to undergo renovations in spring 2012

POSTED AT 11:00 PM ON Dec. 8, 2011  (UPDATED AT 11:07 PM ON Dec. 8, 2011)

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Renovations to the Old Crescent district, IU’s oldest area on campus, will begin in spring 2012 in accordance with the University’s Master Plan and its subsequent Old Crescent Plan.

This particular aspect of the Master Plan includes redistributing administration offices among the campus, renovating classrooms and re-establishing more student activity, according to a March 2011 executive summary.

“At least half of the Old Crescent has become very administrative and has less student activity,” said Tom Morrison, IU’s vice president for capital projects and facilities. “The Master Plan and the Old Crescent plan desire to re-purpose some of those spaces back to being primarily student activity and classroom spaces.”

The changes will be made in an effort to reinvigorate the area, IU President Michael McRobbie said in his February 2010 State of the University address.  

“(The) way we use the magnificent iconic buildings that comprise the Old Crescent, the historic core of the campus, does not properly reflect the University’s core missions of education and research,” he said. “The Old Crescent should be among the main academic centers on campus and a vibrant hub of student and academic life and activity, day and night.”

Years ago, the Old Crescent area buzzed with student energy, and the plan aims to bring this energy back, Morrison said.

“That’s the way the campus used to be,” he said. “If you look at old pictures, you’ll look at all of the student activity.”

Some changes are already underway, including the shifting of the use of Owen Hall, which had been occupied primarily by offices of Bloomington Continuing Studies, it will now house the College of Arts and Sciences’ administrative offices, Morrison said.  

At the moment, most of the rooms in Owen Hall have been emptied. The Bloomington Continuing Studies offices have been redistributed to different areas of campus, and the plan is to complete this particular renovation in a year or less, he said. “It’s a much more efficient use of our space on the campus,” Morrison said.

Transformations to the Grand Reading Room in Franklin Hall will begin in
the spring.

The changes will restore it to its former use, which included academic classes and seminars, according to Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s October report.

The re-purposing of Kirkwood Hall is set to begin in the near future as well, he said.
The exact purpose of these halls is yet to be determined, Morrison said, but they will become more student-oriented than they currently are.

These renovations will likely take several years to complete.

“I think it’s a good project for the campus, and for students and faculty,” Morrison said. “It’s part of a normal progression in terms of needing to renovate space.”  

 

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