Construction has progressed across Binghamton University’s campus this fall semester.
This semester, the campus has seen a multitude of construction projects underway. The renovations include ongoing construction on the third floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library, design renovations in the Science III building and work on the “Hinman Hill” residential project — with construction on Science I and IV buildings having been completed. Old Rafuse Hall is also undergoing renovations, expected to be complete in the fall of 2023.
These renovations, which are a part of the asbestos removal taking place across multiple buildings, will also aim to replace several basic facilities inside the building.
Karen Fennie, the communications specialist for Physical Facilities, outlined the work contractors will be completing as part of the Old Rafuse renovation. The construction in Old Rafuse Hall is a new residential project that’s expected to be complete in 2023. This will include outfitting the dorms with beds, so plans to renovate older residence halls on campus can move forward, according to Fennie.
“Regarding Old Rafuse, the project entails asbestos abatement, minor building demo, new corridor walls, a new configuration of bathrooms for private use bathrooms, new exterior windows, interior doors and lighting along with new paint and finishes,” Fennie wrote in an email. “Electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems will be upgraded and the building will receive a new roof. Exterior work includes new sidewalks, loading dock, a new parking lot configuration and landscaping. Currently, the contractor is continuing with some demo and asbestos abatement, utility work and framing on some floors.”
Construction on Hinman Hill — located at the center of Hinman College dormitories — has already been completed, with an opening event held during homecoming weekend in early October.
Casey Wall, director of residential life and housing, said that while the grass areas of the hill are still fenced off in order to allow the newly-planted grass to grow properly, students are still welcome to enjoy the walkways and other unfenced areas of the hill. The idea for Hinman Hill came from retired Collegiate Professor Alvin Vos, and previous members of the Hinman College Council, according to Wall.
“It is really exciting that we have been able to complete this project and are grateful to those alumni and other friends of Hinman College who have already contributed to the cost of the work on Hinman Hill,” Wall wrote in an email. “We are particularly grateful to Professor Vos for leading the effort to attract more support for Hinman Hill. We are always looking for opportunities to make improvements to our residential communities so they can continue to support a vibrant campus life.”
Renovations for the Science I and IV buildings have been completed, allowing for the beginning of construction on Science III, according to Fennie. Fennie described renovations for Science III as being in the design stage, which will include new classrooms and labs, as well as upgraded plumbing, mechanical, electrical and fire systems. Construction is set to begin near the middle of 2023 and will focus on the middle portion of the building.
Construction on the third floor of Bartle Library is still in progress. According to a statement provided by BU Libraries, construction is expected to be completed in 2024, with an anticipated reopening date of 2025. The renovated floor will include a Digital Scholarship Center, meeting spaces for collaboration, instruction and individual quiet study, as well as access to the library’s collections. The library’s asbestos removal will move forward as planned, though it is a time-consuming process, according to BU Libraries.
The removal process requires any area containing asbestos to be contained and continuously monitored and tested before, during and after the process to ensure safe removal which takes time to do so properly,” BU Libraries wrote in a statement.
Eva Melchior, a freshman majoring in English, expressed her opinion that the construction projects will improve the overall state of the campus.
“It would be nice to have the floor open in the library,” Melchior said. “More space is good — always. I also approve of [the Hinman Hill project]. It would be nice to provide students more places to eat outside [and socialize].”