Next round of campus renewal taking shape

A sweeping SUNY Oswego campus renewal plan that includes the renovation of the Swetman-imagePoucher complex into centers for academics and humanities, an enclosed pedestrian walkway and numerous modernization projects received a boost from $52 million in capital funds in the recently passed New York state budget.

The funding supports the college’s next five-year plan for campus-wide renewal. “This project will transform our campus, using physical spaces and design elements to cultivate a learner-centered community,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley.

The largest piece of the new allocation would complete the central campus construction that began last fall with the start on the new $25.5 million Campus Center. The $3.1 million transformation of Poucher Hall into a humanities center is under way, while the first phase of the $15.3 million renovation of Swetman Hall should be under way next year.

Swetman, the core of the pedestrian spine of the campus, will connect the Campus Center and Poucher Hall and will house clusters of academic services in an academic commons and education planning center.

“The plan will create destinations with warm, welcoming academic and social purposes in close proximity,” Stanley said. “In addition, it will facilitate meaningful student-faculty interaction which is such an important part of the college experience.”

Before the Swetman work can begin, the west wing of Sheldon Hall must be renovated. Nearly $4.6 million is earmarked for that project. Sheldon and Poucher will accommodate the offices and functions that must move from Swetman to make way for construction there.

Another significant piece of the capital plan allows the consolidation of the School of Education, including work in Park, Wilber and Sheldon halls and related projects in Lanigan Hall and Penfield Library totaling about $12.8 million.

Planning and program studies for the sciences in Snygg and Piez halls as well as classroom renovations and technological upgrades in buildings not scheduled for full rehabilitation are also planned.

Exterior rehabilitation of Snygg Hall as well as of buildings in the academic quad area, in a continuation of the exterior work that has been done on Mahar and Culkin halls, will receive around $8.5 million.

Other projects will include window replacement in Mahar Hall scheduled for next summer, campus-wide building signage for disability access and upgrades of mechanical systems in several buildings.

Between the recent allocation and the previous five-year plan, more than $100 million of state capital funding supports construction and renovation projects at Oswego. Another $43 million from New York State Dormitory Authority revenue bonds underwrites the completed rehabilitation of Johnson Hall, the continuing renovations of Riggs and Lakeside halls and future improvements for other residence halls.

“We’re embarking on an ambitious project over the next few years, but the outcome will positively impact generations of learners on our lakeshore campus,” Stanley said.

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(Posted: Sep 17, 2004)