Michael Burwell / Lantern reporter
After demolition began in April, the multimillion dollar renovation of Sullivant Hall is ahead of schedule as the school year gets under way.
The project includes renovating 136,000 square feet for art, dance and library facilities. The total project budget is $30 million, with $19 million going toward construction, said Pete Confar, architect with Acock Associates.
Construction crews have been working on the inside and outside of the building, located on High Street by 15th Avenue, and the favorable weather throughout the summer has helped them stay on task.
“All of the demolition work has been done in the spring and summer, and we were lucky,” Confar said. “Things went pretty smoothly, and the demolition is a little ahead of schedule.”
With the demolition process nearly complete, crews will begin reconstructing the building “within the next few weeks,” Confar said.
The main staircase, the front entrance on the building facing High Street has been demolished. Crews have also taken out all the windows to the building.
Confar said staying ahead of schedule is important because the renovation project has evolved from its original plans, and “the magnitude of what’s happening has grown.”
“It will be more than just the home of the (Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum),” Confar said. “The project is now creating a black box theater for the dance department. Art education is now going to come to the building, along with the (Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise).”
The Barnett Center will be a new edition to campus, and art education will be moving from Hopkins Hall.
The Barnett Center will include a conference room and theater, according to the College of Arts and Sciences website.
Signs have been posted along the fence outside the building that said once Sullivant Hall is completed, it is planned to comply with standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), anticipated Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification, given to high performing green buildings and buildings with utility cost savings.
Crew members are confident that they will reach their goal completing the renovations by next fall. Confar said the Cartoon Library should be ready for the start of Fall Semester 2013, but “other things might drift to October or November.”
With construction going on nearby, Lauren Todd, a first-year in biology, said the noise and construction could be distracting for students in other buildings, such as Page Hall.
One major addition to Sullivant Hall will be the Cartoon Library which is currently located in the Wexner Center for the Arts.
According to a university release, The National Cartoonists Society Foundation donated $20,000 to support the renovations at Sullivant Hall because of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum being moved there when renovations are complete.
The release said the donation will be matched widow of Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts’ cartoon. Jean Schulz said she would match donations to the new building up to $2.5 million.
“We are just so excited to move into our new home,” said Wendy Pflug, associate curator for collections at the Cartoon Library. “It’s going to quadruple our storage space, which is extremely important, and we’re going to have three dedicated galleries which we find important to our educational and teaching mission.”
Pflug said an International Museum of Cartoon Art is slotted to be showcased at Sullivant when renovations are complete. The Cartoon Library acquired material for the IMCA in 2008, according to the Cartoon Library’s website.
Pflug said the material has been in storage without a place to showcase it all.
“I think what we’re really excited about is being able to showcase the art,” Pflug said. “We’ll be able to share these visual treasures.”