Feb 222012
Authors: Colleen Canty

The Associated Students of CSU and the team of architects renovating the Lory Student Center scoured, modified and redrafted blueprints for phase two of the center’s $65 million makeover Wednesday.

Phase two involves construction on the ASCSU/SLiCE office complexes, including talk of an entranceway to the area from off the Plaza and the installation of more glass to create a visual connection between the ASCSU space and passers-by. Phase one, the renovation of the LSC Theatre, is projected to be completed in two months.

While detailed logistics regarding the doorways and potential traffic from the Plaza through the reoriented offices remain fluid, the layout proposed by architects was warmly received by ASCSU representatives. With only one meeting remaining in the schematic design phase, the first phase in the process of construction, the group is narrowing in on the desired plan.

“I think it’s great; it’s extremely close to what I’ve been envisioning – we’re getting there,” ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg said in response to the most recently modified plans presented to ASCSU by the architectural team Wednesday.

The two groups have met on several occasions to narrow in on the right plan to most effectively use the space allotted to ASCSU in the LSC. After one last meeting as part of the schematic design phase, the chosen layout will be submitted to facilities for review shortly before spring break.

After receiving the proposal, the university will have a two-week period to make changes to the design.

According to Tracey Abel, construction project manager for facilities, a “huge list” of reviewers will evaluate the design, including facilities, Lory Student Center Director Mike Ellis, Environmental Health Services and several third parties outside of the university.

A number of phases will follow the review, but construction is scheduled to begin in January 2013.

For many students, yet another construction project may not be a thrilling idea. However, the $70 student fee passed last spring to fund the LSC renovation will not be charged until fall 2014, when the construction is projected to be finished.

Students no longer attending CSU at the time of the building’s completion will not incur the fee increase used to fund the renovation.

“Is everything we want in the design in the budget? Probably not,” said Brad Massey, a Fort Collins architect working on the renovation. “We will add things in and prioritize which are most important –– but the big thing about the fee is students won’t be charged for a building that they aren’t able to use.”

While funds for the ASCSU/SLiCE office complex renovation project have been settled with the passing of the fee, an entirely new project in the works – that of rotating the ASCSU Senate Chambers –– will require its own independent finances.

But Berlinberg said he is “determined to get the extra money for that.”

“We never anticipated the Senate Chambers shifting, but now we will definitely be soliciting some additional funds,” he said. “Unfortunately, that is not yet a story to be told.”

Collegian writer Colleen Canty can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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