Month: November 2008

A Warch Campus Center taste test

xylon.jpgNo, we did not get to sample some new dining services concoction (although dining services did feed us quite well) and we did not lick the furniture a la David Sedaris. Last week our interior designer, Susie Fondrie of Uihlein-Wilson Architects

and her colleagues brought in a bevy of chairs for us to taste test. Over 40 Lawrence students, faculty and staff stopped in lower Brokaw to sit, spin and lounge on nearly two dozen chairs. Even though students selected all of the lounge furnishings a year ago, it was surprising how many additional chairs we need. Outside dining chairs, office desk chairs, side chairs, conference room chairs and event seating, when all of this is done we may well have one chair for every current Lawrence student. It would be great to know that we could have the entire student body in the Warch Campus Center, and everyone would have a seat. Surprisingly (a pleasant surprise), when all the votes were tallied, the favored chair for each purpose had the approval of 2/3 or more of the participants. We seem to know what we like when we see it.

As promised in an earlier blog, I will expand this space try to include information about various spaces and the possible uses of those spaces. Recently we have spent considerable time focusing on the new campus cinema located on level two. The 134-seat venue creates opportunities to increase film showings on campus, support the fledgling film studies curriculum and maybe offer late night entertainment for students on Friday and Saturday nights. The venue’s design creates a superior cinematic experience. No longer will Lawrence have to show campus films in a science lecture hall or a residence hall lounge. Moreover, what movie going experience would be complete without popcorn? In recent conversations, the idea for a movable food cart has floated around, something that would roll down to the cinema and provide popcorn and soda for the patrons. Maybe they will find room for my favorite movie treat, SnoCaps. In addition, we configured the room to accommodate more than film. The speakers are located at the front of the small performance space and additional input lines (microphone and other) are built-in meaning we can host lectures, panel discussions, small ensembles or multi-media performances with ease. Certainly, we will find other creative uses for this space and the flexibility built-in will allow us to make those things possible. It is great fun to imagine new and creative uses for all the new spaces in the Warch Campus Center.

Maybe soon, Chefs Julia or Bob will provide us a taste test of some of the treats they plan to serve in their new facilities. I have heard rumors of a secret new pizza crust recipe replete with a delicious new sauce.

Moving inside for the winter . . .

Glulam.JPGWhile Lawrence has experienced 70 degree temperatures this week, this is northeastern Wisconsin and it is not going to last. Activity at the Warch Campus Center

is quickly changing from exterior to interior work. Even the masons have moved inside as they are now placing the Fond du Lac stone in various locations along Main Street. Wednesday marked the first day of drywalling. The drywallers have begun on level one, which is watertight. Next Tuesday Boldt and Lawrence facilities staff will fire up the Campus Center boiler in order to heat the areas where the drywallers are working.

With most of the windows in place and the walls taking shape, the look of Main Street is taking shape. The glulam (glued-laminated timbers) beams are most impressive (seen in the picture above). Why use glulams? Glued-laminated timbers are a green alternative to traditional structural materials (steel, concrete or aluminum). Glulams provide a resource-efficient use of wood utilizing fast growing trees while safeguarding older forests. Use of wood and wood-engineered products encourages reforestation compounding the environmental benefits.

Next up: choosing fabrics and furnishings for 107,000 square feet of space. Stay tuned!