UW News

January 15, 2004

New buildings lead to shuffling of space

The University is more than a little rearranged this quarter. You’ll find the Earth and Space Sciences Department in Condon Hall, which was occupied by the law school before its move to a new building last October. The Center for Instructional Development and Research (CIDR) has moved from the third floor of Bagley to Sieg Hall, vacated by the Computer Science and Engineering Department after its new building opened. Sieg and Condon are also home to some new general assignment classrooms this quarter.

Condon will be a temporary home for Earth and Space Sciences while its usual location, Johnson Hall, is being renovated. CIDR moved to Sieg’s fourth floor to accommodate the photonics laboratories, which needed more space in Bagley for research activities.

Although moves are always going on around the University, the opening of two new buildings and the renovation of a third has meant more relocations than usual. And according to Colleen Pike, acting director of the Capital and Space Planning Office (CASPO), this is only the beginning. Once Johnson Hall has been renovated, other buildings are waiting in the wings for their turn.

“The highest priority in our capital budget for state funding right now is the renovation of buildings,” Pike says. “These buildings are primarily on the list for seismic and other major repairs. These are renovations more like the one in Suzzallo — driven by the building more than the program that’s in it. A lot of the work is behind the walls.”

There are 15 such buildings on the list. Guggenheim and Architecture are the next in line after Johnson. But renovating buildings — particularly buildings containing academic programs that can’t be moved off campus — requires having a place for those programs to be during the renovation. Condon Hall has made these renovations possible. Condon has been designated as surge space, and for the foreseeable future will be used to house programs while their buildings are being renovated.

“Fortunately, Condon is in reasonably good shape and can be used for offices and classrooms,” Pike says.

Condon is not designed for laboratories, but luckily most of the Earth and Space Sciences labs don’t require fume hoods and so can be accommodated in Condon. And whatever its deficiencies, Condon gives the University more flexibility than it had before.

“Before Condon we didn’t really have surge space, which was a big issue for us,” Pike says. “So we would try to capture small amounts of space back in different places.”

As for Sieg, most of it remains in the inventory of the College of Engineering, although about half of the second floor is given over to general assignment classrooms.

CASPO, meanwhile, continues to evaluate requests for space and to work with a variety of committees and administrative officials to determine who will be housed where. Says Pike, “around this office, we call it three-dimensional chess.”