President provides Heidelberg campus projects update

Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve watched the progress of two very visible construction projects (The HeidelBean! and Sarah Street). Two others inside Saurwein Health & Wellness Center (Exercise Science lab and a new fireplace) are almost finished. The coming weeks and months will bring the start – and in some cases, the completion – of several important and exciting projects that will improve the campus by providing more and better learning, living and engaging spaces.

This week, President Rob Huntington provided the following updates on the progress and status of eight ongoing and upcoming campus projects.

The HeidelBean! at Hoernemann Refectory

Our new exciting Coffee Shop & Loft is almost finished!  Once done (so soon), everyone will be able to enter and exit Hoernemann Refectory through this space, visit The HeidelBean! like a regular coffee shop, or simply hang out there.  We express huge appreciation to Parkhurst Dining for funding this entire project. We also thank student Jimmy Jacobs for suggesting this awesome name and the majority of students who voted for it.  In case you have not noticed this one, it is the big black building on the street corner with the orange framed windows ... The HeidelBean!

Exercise Science Lab in Saurwein Health & Wellness Center

Our new Exercise Science major will have a new Exercise Science Lab on the first floor of the Saurwein Health & Wellness Center.  It has taken about four weeks to build most of it. All of the equipment, furniture, and fixings will be installed soon. We express tremendous thanks to Dr. Steven (’75) and Denise Brancheau in Texas for funding this project.  This state-of-the-art facility will strengthen our Exercise Science program significantly and attract more students!

Philalethean Lobby in Saurwein Health & Wellness Center

Our new Philalethean Lobby has created a spectacular entrance to the Saurwein Health & Wellness Center.  The fireplace was built over the past four weeks. The furniture and decor will be delivered and set up soon.  We express gratitude to members of The Philalethean Society for funding this project. Once everything is set in place, this lobby will be a wonderful spot to relax and hang out … especially in the winter when the gas fireplace is turned on!

Gundlach Theatre Safety Handrails

We will install new safety handrails in Gundlach Theatre sometime soon after Commencement weekend.  These rails will be placed in the center of the two main step ways going down to the stage. We express our thanks to Dr. Ruth Wahlstrom (retired English professor) and Ms. Nancy Rubenstein (retired Head Librarian) for making this suggestion and funding it entirely.  All of us will appreciate these rails when attending great plays and other events in our cool dark theatre!

Sarah Street Reconstruction & Beautification

The City of Tiffin continues to reconstruct, renovate, and beautify Sarah Street.  This street connects Greenfield Street to Route 18 by the Pit Stop (and thus to East Market and East Perry streets) and it separates our campus from our great long-time neighbor, National Machinery, across from France Hall.  Almost all of this funding is federal money along with a small amount of grant funding. Since starting this work about a month ago, a lot of visible progress has been made. Car and truck traffic will resume soon. The new sidewalks, streetscaping, landscaping, and Heidelberg lamps will be done in early summer and look great!

France Hall Restoration & Renovation

After extended planning and some unanticipated challenges, we expect to start the restoration and renovation of historic France Hall by mid-summer.  This project will take 10-12 months to complete. France Hall will remain closed all next academic year. It will reopen in Fall 2020 with about 70 beds, two female Faculty apartment annexes, our four female and one mixed gendered Greek society halls, a women’s leadership office, a restored parlor, a renovated multi-purpose event hall, and a 5-story elevator.  This transformational project is funded by generous donor gifts and by our approved United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) low interest long-term loan. France Hall will remain historically registered and become more spectacular than ever!

New Townhouse Apartments on Main Street

We will build new Townhouse Apartments on Main Street while the France Hall project is underway.  There will be 15 contiguous two-and-a-half story, four bedroom apartments built between Krieg Hall and King Hall overlooking Rock Creek.  This construction will create 60 new student beds, take 9-12 months to complete, and be ready for occupancy in Fall 2020. Our USDA low interest long-term loan will fund all of this construction.  The design, layout, and appearance of these Townhouse Apartments will be fantastic!

Video Game Production Lab & eSports Game Room in Media Communication Center

We will renovate the Media Communication Center to create a state-of-the-art Video Game Production Lab to support our new Video Game Production major.  The USDA loan will fund this work too. All of the existing radio, TV, equipment, and hallway space in the center of the MCC will be eliminated. Our stations will be relocated inside the MCC.  Our long-time WTTF radio partner will relocate to downtown Tiffin. The larger renovated space will push out to the windows. It will feature 30 computer stations, group learning areas, large flat screens, other new technology, and guest seating areas.  This space will also be used to launch our new eSports Gaming Club & Team. As part of this important renovation, we will rename the MCC as the Gaming, E-Sports, and Media Center.  It will be exciting and we expect to have the GEM Center ready for students this September!

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