By Delia Fabro
Ka La staff writer
If you are one of the many students grumbling over the construction work in Building 7, get used to it. The disruption is going to be around for at least two more years. The 40-year-old building is getting a top-to-bottom makeover that will require at least three years of construction. Once the work is done, though, it should be a thoroughly modernized school building.
Right now, work is focused on building a new mechanical tower that will enable school officials to finally replace the notorious elevators that stop in-between floors. When the work is done, Brian Furuto, Vice Chancellor, Administrative Services, said students will be able to take an elevator directly to any floor of the building.
But the elevators are just a small part of the renovation. Other improvements will include an installation of a new air conditioning system, new ceiling and lighting fixtures throughout the building, construction of three new telecom rooms and network conduits, removal of asbestos tiles and repainting the building exterior.
Work on the main building will be conducted two floors at a time. That means users of those floors will have to be moved to different locations on campus. Many will end up in classes and offices in portable classrooms that will be set up in what is now the parking lot on the ewa and mauka sides of the building.
The first two floors will be renovated first, and that work is scheduled to begin in January. The library staff will be relocated to various locations throughout the campus. Renovation on floors three and four is scheduled to start in May 2013, followed by the last two floors next December.
Furuto told faculty members earlier this year that the project undoubtedly will cause some disruption, but he asked everyone for patience and understanding. So the construction project will surely be a long, bumpy road ahead for contractors, staff, and students alike. Take this time as a motivation to use the stairs more often, arrive early to class and even create ideas for your own personal upgrades.
**UPDATE: We are happy to announce the new elevator system that stops at every single floor (say what?!?). Starting from Fall 2013, students will be able to use the brand new elevators. The Library has officially moved back into Building 7, floors 1 and 2.