By Bill Farr
Hudson Valley Technical Institute architects designed Guenther Hall in 1959 with little thought for technology since computers were only a novelty.
The needs of the Information Age are so extensive today that only a complete reconstructuion of the building could accommodate the advances of computers and networks.
Phase I of Guenther Hall’s renovations, originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 1999, is now done. The phase involved moving the offices out of Guenther and into new spaces. The open access computer lab went to the library’s basement; the Computer Services department moved to Higbee Hall #119; and thE Public Safety office is now in the Siek Campus Center. The Division of continuing Education has been moved to Williams Hall Room #127. The only tenant remaining is the President’s office.
Phase II is now underway which consists of gutting Guenther and expanding it to provide room for additional office space.
The safety fences that construction company erected created obstacles for pedestrian traffic.
The newest chapter in the school’s building campaign began a week and a half ago. When they have finished this segment — tentatively scheduled for May 1, according to Physical Plant Director Stephen Cowan they will start on the interior walls, wiring and plumbing.
Troy company T & J Construction began the initial work on the project back in September 1999 with fiber optic computer and communications upgrades. Deconstruction began on Saint Patrick’s Day, this semester.
According to Cowan, the work begun this March is scheduled for Feb. 15, 2001. This is an adjusted date from the original one of Jan. 1, 2001.
“The project had to be rescheduled because we changed plans partway through and this pushed back the completion date,” said Cowan.
The work includes both interior demolition of both floors and the removal of one wall on the north side to accommodate this addition. This is designed to extend out towards the A parking lot which will eventually be removed in the final places of Hudson Valley’s renovations.
When finished, the renovated Guenther Hall will be divided up into student enrollment services on the first floor and administrative offices (including the President’s office) on the second floor. After repartitioning the new office spaces, the building will be rewired.
“The initial purpose of this project is to create a central location for all of the student services; to get them into one building and increases the efficiency for the student body,” said Eric Bryant,assistant director of community relations.
He said, the Registrar’s and the Cashier’s offices are both moving from the Hy Rosenblum Administration Building and the Financial Aid office currently located in the BTC is also slated to move into Guenther. Continuing Education will retaun from its hiatus to William’s Hall.