Puzzle-like office shifts will begin as renovations come to Sage Hall in May

Puzzle-like office shifts will begin as renovations come to Sage Hall in May

The UNT Honors College located in Sage Hall, which has plans to be relocated to the third floor later this Summer. Amber Nasser

Puzzle-like office shifts will begin as renovations come to Sage Hall in May
March 22
18:47 2017

Renovations in Sage Hall to turn the facility into a “one stop shop” for student success will begin after the end of this semester. The project is expected to continue for three years as each floor in the building gets renovations.

Construction will begin on a portion of the first floor, said Thanh Kim Nguyen, project manager for the Sage renovation. Work on the other half of the building will start in late summer, after remaining offices have been relocated out of Sage.

“The grand opening of the entire first floor will be in January 2018,” Nguyen said.

Finley Graves, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the goal of the renovations is to increase student retention and graduation rates.

“[This project] is to help students succeed so that they will remain here, get through school and get their degree,” Graves said. “It’s one building they can get help in. We have all of these resources here to support students.”

Vice president for student affairs Elizabeth With said many programs will find their home in Sage after the renovations.

“Our theme is that everything inside of there is to support student success so there will be multiple offices within the building,” With said. 

Graves said the project is focused on the physical reconstruction of the building and “the strengthening of each program is up to each office.”

The first floor and main-entrance lobby inside of Sage Hall, which has plans to undergo construction late this Summer. Amber Nasser

After completion of the first floor, work will begin on the third floor the consecutive year, followed by the second floor in the last year of the project, With said.

With explains that the reason for going to the third floor in the second phase is the limited space on campus and working in this order “makes more sense in the shifting of offices.”

“There’s not a place where we can just move everybody and then move them back in,” With said. “It’s kind of this puzzle of moving offices around.”

The budget for the first phase is $1.85 million, associate vice president of facilities David Reynolds said. The second phase’s budget is $1.45 million. Both budgets for phase one and two have been approved by the board of regents, but phase three is still pending.

“The budget for phase three is very preliminary,” Reynolds said. “It is estimated about $2 million. It’s expected to go to the board for fiscal year ‘18.”

Nguyen said there are a lot of moving parts in this project as offices are relocated during and after construction.

“[The Office of Disability Accommodations] will stay where it is and remain accessible during renovation, as well as the large classroom at the south end of the building,” Nguyen said. “The writing lab will still be up and running until they get relocated as well.”

The writing lab will be relocated from its current position in the south area of the first floor of Sage to the middle of the same floor, so that “its more visible and accessible to students.”

The relocation of the career connect office is still to be determined. The veterans center will be relocated to the general academic building, down to the soon-to-be empty journalism office suites.

“They’re going to move there and sit there for about a year and a half to two years until their space is ready at Sage,” Nguyen said.

The veterans center will ultimately be permanently located on the second floor.  

As the project progresses, the math lab will be relocated from the top floor of the general academic building to the first floor. The career center will eventually move from Chestnut Hall to the first floor. The learning center, currently on the third floor, will be moving down to the first. The IT services office and adaptive lab will be moving from the first floor to the third.

Throughout the first floor, there will be spaces for open and private tutoring, with individual rooms that students can reserve. 

The physical reconstruction of the building involves installing glass walls where possible to brighten up the rooms and create a more welcoming, inviting feeling for the students, Nguyen said. Adding new LED lights will further this effort to create “a more energetic study environment.”

Featured Image: The UNT Honors College located in Sage Hall, which has plans to be relocated to the third floor later this Summer. Amber Nasser

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Celeste Gracia

Celeste Gracia

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