Remodeled Squash Building to Reopen in January

Alan Rubacha, senior project manager for Physical Plant-Facilities, points out the future space of the Art History Department during a building tour on Sept. 23. The department will occupy the former squash building's south end of the third floor.

Construction on the former squash building continues, and according to construction manager Alan Rubacha, everything is on schedule. The building is expected to reopen as the Career Center, Art History Department and College of Letters in January 2012 – just three months away.

Donning a hard hat, Karen DePoto, special assistant to the vice president of University Relations, walks down the scaffolding steps during the building tour.

“You can see over here where the five classrooms are going to go, and this will be a conference room that will hold between eight and 10 people,” Rubacha says during first-floor building tour. “And over there, that’s the main entry. There’s going to be a big bronze door.”

On Sept. 16 and Sept. 23, Rubacha led small groups of Wesleyan staff members through the construction zone. He points out a recently poured gypsum-sand flooring that, when set in layers, secures a radiant-heat flooring system on the first floor Career Center lounge.

“Students are really going to like this space in the winter,” Rubacha says.

This week, crews completed framing the third floor, and all mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems are being roughed-in. Crews also completed installing an energy recovery unit, which will condition the air throughout the building.

Glass windows will be installed by Oct. 7.

He leads the tour group up medal scaffolding steps to the building’s third floor. The building’s real steps will be finished this month. Each steel step, he says, takes three days to build.

The College of Letters and the Art History Departments will occupy the third floor with a shared space for student work areas and a conference room. The Career Center will occupy the south half of the first floor and a new second floor mezzanine level.

College of Letters and Art History faculty offices will soon occupy this space.

Construction began in March 2010 after six months of waste removal, asbestos and lead abatement in the squash building. The walls, Rubacha says, were saturated in lead paint.

“I’m impressed with our contractors and crews. Everyone is really working hard to get the building done on time,” Rubacha says.