Photo By Isaac Cruz

Construction begins for the engineering school addition where the Chester building stood.

 

September 21, 2016

Students notice many renovations and improvements around campus

Did you like Cleveland State University before it was cool?


It’s about to get even cooler with the new school of Film, Television and Interactive Media coming to the Cleveland State campus in the unforeseeable future and a 100,000-foot addition to Fenn Hall, which will be named the Washkewicz College of Engineering by its projected completion date in December 2017. This addition will replace the Chester Building on Chester Avenue.


University Architect Bruce Ferguson said he foresees the exciting changes to the campus to attracted potential students that may have initially had their heart set on other well-known film and broadcast programs at the University of Southern California or even the short three-hour drive to Ohio University to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.


With that said, Ferguson doesn’t have a definitive answer on when and where the new film school is going to make its’ grand debut.


“What we know, of course, is that we got seven and a half million dollars from the state in July, but that’s just the money side,” Ferguson said. “As to where it would go, we’re still looking at several locations.”
The music and communication building is maxed out. However, some have said it would make sense for it to be close to Play House Square because there’s a synergy surrounding it from performing arts, radio and TV stations nearby, but all of the options have costs, he added.


Even though potential completion dates were announced during the initial announcement of the deal, Ferguson said the decision efforts won’t begin until the location is known. After determining the location, an announcement of its opening will follow.


As for the demolition of the Chester building and the new addition to Fenn, the rebuilding process is already underway.


“This summer, all occupants in the Chester building moved to different areas around campus,” Ferguson said. “We are now in the process of building 100,000 foot, four-story tall addition connected to Fenn.”


However, Ferguson elaborated that Fenn Hall will still stand but an L-shaped building incorporating the Chester building site will provide more than 300,000 square feet of housing for the new Washkewicz College of Engineering.


Considering these changes and the fact that the Chester building is no more, all of the students and faculty once housed in that building have been placed elsewhere.


The Department of Psychology permanently moved to the seventh floor of the Union building located on Euclid Avenue. All psychology classrooms also moved into the Union building in which they did extensive renovations to change what it was before, according Administrative Coordinator Beth Antol of the Department of Psychology.


“The NEOMED students and health and wellness services, previously in the Union building, moved to the Center for Innovation and Medical Professions building where Rascal House used to be,” she added.
Dr. Greg Sadlek, Dean of College for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, explained where exactly everyone went and if the move has impacted students and faculty.


“Social work students moved to the 14th floor of Rhodes Tower, they did a phenomenal job refurbishing the space up there so it really looks beautiful there and they’re very happy,” Sadlek said. “The anthropologists moved to the ninth floor of Rhodes Tower and they moved not only the faculty offices but two teaching labs that were once over in Chester.”


Overcrowding in the new locations is not concern, Sadlek added.


He said there is plenty of space on those floors to house all the students and faculty, and there shouldn’t be any huge impact.


“I think the way they remodeled the floors looks really [good] and students and faculty should be happy with the way it turned out,” Sadlek said.


“The only problem that we’re facing now is the old elevators in Rhodes Tower because there is much more traffic going up and down them than in previous years,” he said.


“But, a meeting is in place with FAST (Facilities, Architect, Safety, Technology) to make sure we have a long-range plan so that students can get up and down them without any issues,” Sadlek concluded.



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