Compared with most other academic buildings, facilities dedicated to science are at the high end of the renovation cost continuum.
Limitations posed by a facility's superstructure might prevent building expansion, the creation of a new exterior opening or the relocation of load-bearing walls.
When the State of Kansas Board of Regents named its bond initiative the “Crumbling Classrooms Campaign,” its goal was obvious. It hoped to breathe new life into dilapidated classrooms and establish learning environments that would serve Kansas students for generations to come. Renovation was the preferred route.
That was the case at Fort Hays State University, Fort Hays, Kan., where one of the school's science facilities, Albertson Hall, has been renovated — all four floors; all 75,000 square feet. State-of-the-art science classrooms and laboratories are operating in what was abandoned, vacant and unusable space.
The building was renovated at a cost of $92 per square foot, compared with the $120 to $160 per square foot spent on most new academic science facilities. As a result, 72-year-old Albertson Hall is a model project not only for the Kansas Crumbling Classrooms Campaign, but also for institutions across the nation upgrading science facilities.