Wooten Hall renovation completion date pushed back once again

Wooten Hall renovation completion date pushed back once again

Wooten Hall renovation completion date pushed back once again
February 22
11:30 2019

The completion of renovations on Wooten Hall has been postponed until the summer due to repeated issues with the restrooms overflowing on the first two floors.

Late last month, restrooms on the first and second floor flooded due to construction workers washing their tools in commodes over the course of the renovations. Because the restrooms were not used for about four months, the water lines clogged and resulted in flooding when the restrooms were initially reopened.

The hall’s renovation was scheduled to be finished by Feb. 8, which was an extension past the original December 2018 deadline, but the flooded restrooms set the construction back again.

The biggest thing is the ongoing problem with the restrooms,” political science professor Gloria Cox said. “They have been closed for months now, except for the few days when they reopened and problems became obvious. Lines form in the other restroom at busy times.”

Wooten Hall representative Cece Hannah said the university has hired a new subcontractor to fix these plumbing issues.

To fix the restrooms, Hannah said that construction workers might have to dig all the way into the city lines to correct the plumbing issues. The restrooms on the first and second floor that overflowed on Jan. 24 are currently closed.

“I feel like with anything, nothing is ever a smooth transition,” Oscar Amaya, a Wooten Hall office support assistant, said. “Plus, the building is kind of old, I think from the ‘70s, so how I feel about it is the people who are in charge of improving or upgrading it are doing their best. We’ve had our troubles, but we’re surviving.”

Wooten Hall is a caste-in-place building making it more cost-effective to renovate the building rather than demolishing it, project manager Bill Myers said. Myers compared demolishing Wooten to trying to demolish a “bunker.”

“This is an old building, so I would expect there to be issues,” Cox said. “It was great to see the paneling installed in the front lobby. That looks very nice. I appreciate their efforts on behalf of the building and I would be grateful for the project to be successfully completed.”

Project director Kim Nguyen was unable to comment on Wooten Hall’s progress.

The main purpose of the renovations is to bring the building up to code with life-safety regulations that meet present day standards. This has been done with the addition of a fire-sprinkler system and additional details to maintain safety within Wooten.

“I’m looking forward to everyone liking the end result,” Amaya said. “I think it will make us all happy once it’s all done with. It has just caused a little mishap for us, but it’s something we’ve been able to push through.”

Featured Image: Students walk in the bike lane on West Highland Street because of a sidewalk closure due to the construction outside of Wooten Hall. Image by: Will Baldwin.

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Rebekah Schulte

Rebekah Schulte

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