The Maroon

Marquette offices move to Thomas Hall

Renovations at Thomas Hall ended earlier August 2011.

WADNER PIERRE

Renovations at Thomas Hall ended earlier August 2011.

By KRISTEN DIAZ

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The renovation of Thomas Hall was completed earlier this month, concluding Phase I of the facilities master plan the university implemented last year that involves the construction of certain areas of the school.

The facilities master plan stated that the renovation of Thomas Hall was meant to improve student retention and recruitment by housing existing administrative offices in one place. It had a budget of $14.5 million for improvements, which was the largest budget of all the projects in Phase I of the master plan, including the added levels in the West Road Garage and improvements on Loyola Avenue. This budget covered architectural fees, furniture, updates to the heating and cooling infrastructure, as well as other matters necessary for the improvements.

Thomas Hall is also pending LEED certification, showing that the hall was built to be green and sustainable. The points gained throughout the planning and construction of the hall will be rewarded based on the sustainability of the building through construction, design and operations within the hall.

Thomas Hall will be the new home for the offices of Admissions and Enrollment, Enrollment Management, Scholarships and Financial Aid, Student Records, Student Finance and the Bursar’s Office, which were all previously located in Marquette Hall. This move will help facilitate the creation of more classroom space in Marquette Hall.

Despite the budget, there were some unexpected complications with the aged infrastructure of the building, which caused minor setbacks.

“With an older building there are always many surprises,” said Ann Moss, director of Facilities Operations. “We had to update the older building codes to current codes.”

After the Board of Trustees approved the financing of the renovation in December 2009, architectural design began in January 2010 followed by construction in March, which finished earlier this month.

Thomas Hall’s history dates back to the university’s founding in 1912, when it was built as a residence for the Jesuit fathers. It was also used after Hurricane Katrina as a residence hall for returning students.

Vice President of Enrollment Management Salvadore Liberto is one of the many staff members who has moved into the renovated space.

“The university has created a space astonishing in its beauty and functionality,” Liberto said.

Students share a similar view.

“It’s a very convenient move. It’s nice to see actual progress from all the construction,” said Michael Catalano, political science sophomore.

Kristen Diaz can be reached at [email protected] 

Renovations to Thomas Hall were completed August 2011. (WADNER PIERRE)

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Marquette offices move to Thomas Hall