Bids on university’s office consolidation expected in fall

A portion of Clarion University’s “office consolidation project” could soon be realized.

Len Cullo, vice president of finance and administration, recently told the university’s Council of Trustees that the “office consolidation is so far so good. I am told the bids will probably come out in the fall sometime.”

In February 2015, the trustees initially adopted the plan that includes the demolition of Carrier Hall.

According to a report from the 2015 meeting, Carrier Hall, which was constructed in 1971, hasn’t had a comprehensive renovation. It was recommended for demolition rather than rehabilitation since the building is in significant disrepair, “is very unattractive at a key location on campus and detracts from first impressions for potential students and their families.”

“Once we take Carrier down, you will probably be able to make left turns,” Cullo said.

The 2015 plan also included the creation of “Arnold Plaza,” in place of Carrier Hall, at the corner of Arnold Avenue and Main Street. The project could include a second entrance to the university off Main Street.

The university’s Capital Program Submission for 2021-22 includes previously identified full-building renovations for Becker Hall and for the Marwick Boyd facility.

The inclusion of these two facilities follows the Campus Master Plan, which calls for major renovation of these two facilities in the 2024 to 2033 phase of the Master Plan.

“If funded, the university would have the ability to work with the System Office and Commonwealth Department of General Services (DGS) to modify the planned renovation or redirect the funding to other facilities based on changes that may occur due to current integration planning,” the report stated.

The cost of the Becker Hall renovation is $25 million for 2025. The project will correct deficiencies identified in a detailed building systems analysis performed by architectural and engineering consultants while developing the Facilities Master Plan.

The facility, constructed in 1972, presently serves Communications and Computer Science programs and possesses its original complement of electrical and environmental systems equipment.

The report stated the building contains “five heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, which have all exceeded their useful service life and can no longer operate efficiently or be maintained economically.”

Additionally, the report said, systems within the building are “presently operating at their maximum designed capacity, which does not accommodate the facility’s present mission that is focused on the science and technology disciplines.”

The “unique room configurations” in the building, the report said, were designed to support experimental middle school programs and do not accommodate effective teaching and learning in the present technologically sophisticated environment.

The proposed renovation and expansion at Marwick Boyd could cost $32.4 million.

The report stated the Marwick Boyd Fine Arts Center was constructed in 1969 and is “in need of a life cycle renewal renovation to support existing and future academic programs in this building as well as public auditorium and theatre space.”

The report said the “electrical and structural systems are marginal and none of the arts facilities meet present-day code requirements.”

Accomplishing this project would correct code and accessibility deficiencies, enhance public auditorium and theatre space, consolidate and improve arts programs in one facility, and bring space allocations for the arts and allied academic programs in line with System Standards,” the report said.

Cullo noted with the integration of Clarion, Edinboro, and California universities, “We don’t know what our future office needs may be.”