Josiah Martin | Staff Writer
It’s back to school time for most of the Duquesne University community, and once again, Facilities Management has been at work all summer renovating and updating campus for new and returning students.
Crews spent the summer preparing the Living Learning Centers for their new residents. Rod Dobish, Assistant Vice President & Chief Facilities Officer of Facilities Management, explained that this involves “general maintenance in 1,908 traditional student rooms.”
Over the summer, crews cleaned and finished hundreds of thousands of square feet across the residence halls with carpeting and flooring. St. Ann Hall had all of its cooling and heating pipes replaced.
Assumption Hall had its 1950s-era bathrooms finally demolished and modernized on the Stevenson Street side. The new bathrooms also feature a larger, private American Disabilities Act-friendly shower area for students with disabilities.
Matthew Ireland, Associate Director of Residence Life, said that a laundry room has been added to each floor of the Stevenson side of Assumption.
Dobish expects these same renovations to be completed on the Bluff Street side of Assumption Hall this coming summer.
Students passing by Gumberg Library may have noticed the new walls enclosing the group study areas along the window on Locust Street. Inside, the fourth-floor restroom and computer labs have undergone overhauls as well.
Several campus buildings have seen such major projects completed this summer. One of College Hall’s first floor lecture halls has been completely renovated. Libermann Hall now boasts a new fourth floor biomedical lab and is having its HVAC system replaced over the course of the next few years.
Rockwell Hall’s fourth floor overhaul will be done in late September, according to Dobish, with “new bathrooms, replacement of the HVAC system and the construction of four new business centers.”
The changes that seem to be getting the most attention from the student body are those to the Duquesne Union. Options Food Court has been transformed to now include a popular new Chick-fil-A. The Cinco Cantina and a sushi bar also now serve Options’ familiar Mexican food and sushi choices.
The sixth floor of the Union will be the home of Career Services in the near future, slated to open in January 2018.
Facilities Management completed all of these projects despite the construction on Stevenson Street and while under a unique time constraint.
“All of this construction and renovation work had to be completed between spring commencement and the beginning of the fall semester, which was a mere thirteen weeks. Normally, the summer break is fifteen weeks,” Dobish said.
Dobish is happy with the work completed over the summer.
“Overall, I am very proud of our team in Facilities Management,” said Dobish. “We have many projects over the summer, and we always manage to complete them with one goal in mind: to enhance the student experience.”