Morgan Hall construction continues

Kevin Sullivan is a senior nursing major.

Construction is well underway on the new Welcome Center at Washburn University that will be built on the north side of Morgan Hall. Construction of the Welcome Center began in March of this year.

As of right now, the construction on Morgan Hall is progressing. The project is on schedule and so far the weather has not slowed the construction. Walkers or drivers that pass by the north side of Morgan Hall can see significant signs of progress. Windows are being installed and rock is going up on the northeast corner of the building.

There are also other signs of progress at the construction site. Interior office areas will be complete by the end of this week. Work on the corridors in the building will begin in the next two weeks. Drill piers and grade beams will be installed in the near future as well. A concrete slab will be poured here within the next couple of weeks as well for the foundation.

Support beams have been installed on the west side of the construction site. When the project is complete, these beams will support the second floor of the building.

There are still changes that will be made to the Morgan Hall tower. The top elevation of the tower will be removed. Richard Liedtke, executive director of enrollment management at Washburn, talks about the current renovations in Morgan Hall.

“It’s that third level, which was just offices and roof access, that’s coming down,” said Liedtke.

The reason why the top elevation of the tower has not been removed yet is because of a safety issue. The construction crew will have to build the new building up to it in order for the top part of the tower to be taken down safely.

Steve Kesl, construction site manager for McPherson Contractors, commented about the remodeling of the tower.

“The tower as you know it will not be visible when we’re done,” said Kesl.

All of the offices that have had to relocate to other locations on campus from Morgan Hall have already moved. The offices that had to move out are Counseling Services, Student Services, Multicultural Affairs and the President’s office. All of the classes that are normally held in Morgan Hall during the summer have been relocated to other classrooms on campus.

Once the project is complete, the parking lot that was in front of Morgan Hall prior to construction will no longer exist. There will be a circular drive in front of the building that will allow people to pull up to the building and drop off visitors near the main entrance.

The project is currently in phase 1 and once it progresses to phase 3, then another office will have to relocate. Student Health Services is expected to move out of their current space in Morgan Hall and relocate in the summer of 2015. This will allow the office that they currently occupy to be renovated into a combined office space for Counseling Services and Student Health Services.

The project is slated for completion in the summer of 2015. There will be some work that will continue into the fall in order to finish up the project. The offices that had to move out of Morgan Hall as a result of the construction are expected to start moving back to the building in May 2015.