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Renovation begins on Madeleva Hall

Katie Kotarak | Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Forty years is a long time for a building to go without renovation, but that’s how long Madeleva Hall has had to wait for a facelift.

The academic building’s south end is currently under construction. According to Bill Hambling, Director of Facilities at Saint Mary’s College, the third floor is 90 percent demolished, renovation of the second floor is underway and the construction on the first floor will start soon. These changes are scheduled to be completed by February of next year, allowing remodeling to the rest of the structure to commence. Hambling plans on the entire project being completed by the time students return for the 2009-2010 school year.

According to Hambling, Madeleva’s new look will resemble that of Spes Unica, creating a much more open atmosphere as well as areas for students to study and relax.

“I think it will be nice [for students] to have [their] own place to study. I hope the offices will be easy to find when they have them finished,” says junior Kate Ortigara.

In addition to the buildings improved layout, Hambling says, “bright colors [will provide a] good learning environment.”

Until structural renovations are finished, frustration is most likely still going to be the first word a Saint Mary’s student thinks of when she hears someone utter the words “Madeleva Hall.” Madeleva’s current complicated layout makes getting around difficult for some students.

“Finding my way around Madeleva is like nothing I have ever experienced before; it’s like walking through a maze and not knowing which path to take,” comments Junior Maureen Healy.

Once construction is completed, Hambling hopes the interior’s new floor plan will ease student’s navigation problems when trying to find their way around.

“It will be nice to see the finished product,” says Healy, “and finally be able find my professor’s offices.”

As Madeleva Hall undergoes construction, Hambling said workers are doing their best to keep noise to a minimum. Although, students currently attending class in Madeleva may be noticing some disruption.

“The construction is right across from my math class and I am always hearing hammering and noise. It is hard to learn the material with the constant banging,” says sophomore Janine Kingsbury.

Others do not notice the noise affecting their time in the classroom.

“There is some noise on the second floor, but other than that nothing has been really noticeable,” says Freshman Kate Park.

When demolition noise is no longer an issue and Madeleva Hall is complete, students will not only enjoy accessible faculty offices, but they will also notice a repaired roof as well as new seating and carpeting in the dated Carrol Auditorium.

“It’s a lot of noise now, but I’m sure Madeleva’s end result will be really nice, especially if the inside looks more like Spes Unica,” says Kingsbury.