Building excitement: Belknap Academic Classroom Building on pace for fall opening

January 2018 progress

Editor’s note: This story is the first in a series to be presented throughout the next several months about the progress being made on UofL’s new classroom building.

The Belknap Campus skyline was altered in September 2016 with the demolition of the iconic Crawford Gym, a building that empowered UofL basketball giants since 1963. The removal took place to make way for the Belknap Academic Classroom Building, scheduled to open by the start of the fall 2018 semester – on time and on budget.

The building sits along South Brook Street, between the Shumaker Research Building and Lutz Hall in the heart of campus. Though it is built using materials that are consistent with the rest of the buildings on campus, the BCAB will be unlike anything that’s ever existed at UofL before – 169,420 gross square feet dedicated entirely to student success.

This “student success” objective will be facilitated through the building’s features:
•20 state-of-the-art active learning classrooms
•A Student Success Center, which includes Resources for Academic Achievement (REACH), Exploratory Advising, First Year Initiatives and student success coordinators
•11 group study rooms
•Seven seminar rooms
•A multipurpose teacher space
•Six chemistry labs
•Four biology labs
•Three physics labs and one anthropology-physics lab

These details just scratch the surface of what the new building will offer. Its technology-rich, active spaces were created to enable innovative and active learning methods proven to promote student engagement. Evidence suggests that active learning approaches lead to increased learning gains and academic success. These approaches include flipped classrooms, team-based learning, POGIL (process oriented guided inquiry learning), problem-based learning, cooperative learning, collaborative learning.

“The focus is on students learning in groups, working together, sharing information and working with the latest technologies,” said John Stratton, UofL senior architect. “To support that, there are interactive computer systems within the classrooms. It is different from a traditional lecture-style space. It’s more about the interaction between the instructors and students and learning together.”

Stratton has been a part of UofL’s building projects for more than 25 years. While every project is special to him, this one stands out a bit because of its focus on the relatively new method of active learning.

“We always want to make new spaces to meet the challenges of preparing students for the future. It’s an enjoyable challenge,” Stratton said. “You have to always adapt. You can’t always build the same lab every year.”

Stratton said that although the space is a bit different for the BCAB, the approach to its construction was the same as it has always been – meet with consultants, engineers, architects, faculty and administration to discuss the goals of the building and how you achieve them, and then move forward on the construction.

“The main thing is to get the right people together to discuss the needs of these buildings and then go from there,” he said.

Challenges

Though the building’s construction is on time using a proven process, that doesn’t mean the project hasn’t been without its challenges thus far. For starters, the building is in the middle of an operating campus.

“Getting the materials in and out, controlling the noise, all of these things we have to deal with. There have been a few small hiccups, but we’ve solved them quickly, which is key,” Stratton said. “That is our job and sometimes you have to be all-hands-on-deck to meet a challenge.”

The team’s goal was to get the building exterior closed by Thanksgiving break, which it did.

“November 30 was our close-in date, which did not mean all of the brick and glass was complete, but it did mean the building could be maintained at a certain temperature and humidity level. The sheathing and roof were intact by then and the glazing was done,” Stratton said.

Since hitting that enclosure goal, the team has been busy installing metal stud framing and interior sheathing.

“You can now see drywall enclosing the rooms and you can envision what the room spaces look like in an unfinished state,” Stratton said.

Those rooms not only include the state-of-the-art classrooms, but also large public spaces that are purposefully designed to encourage students to stick around between their classes. Stratton describes them as “quasi library spaces.” There are no TVs, but the lounge areas are furnished with upholstered, comfortable chairs and coffee tables. There are power outlets and connectivity options for phones and laptops.

“The building has dedicated gathering spaces for students to rest, hang out and study. That’s the thing about this building in general – it’s a comfortable building. It’s a space you’ll want to stay in. We want it to be a building that is full of people, that is welcoming, comfortable and usable from morning to night,” Stratton said. “The idea is that students get together and communicate with one another about what they’ve learned and they learn more effectively when they can share that information.”

Dining options will be available in the building to encourage students to stick around, with more information coming soon.

The project from a personal perspective

Stratton has worked on the gamut of buildings on both the Belknap and HSC campuses, including innovative medical research projects downtown and athletics facilities. Picking a favorite project would be like picking a favorite child, he said. Still, he can name features about the BCAB that stand out to him personally.

“On all university projects, we always use similar materials, in terms of bricks, for the base. And then we add other materials that maintain the heart of the campus. This building does just that. But it is also one of the first buildings that has major curves in the design and it’s very dramatic in that sense,” Stratton said.

He also notes the open space in front of the building, describing it as a sort of metaphor for reaching out to new students.

“There is a great deal of glass and vision in and out of the building. That is to encourage transparency in a number of ways. We wanted a building where you can see the activity happening in the building and, from the inside, you can see what’s happening outside. This is good not only for security reasons, but to show students that we’re transparent and that we care about them,” Stratton said. “The building is not going to be foreign to campus, but it does sort of jump out and grab your attention.”


University of Louisville Belknap Academic Classroom Building

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University of Louisville’s Belknap Academic Classroom Building is a four-story structure with 150,000 square feet set aside specifically for student needs.

Included in this renovation are 17 new classrooms, new science labs, group study rooms, gathering spaces and new food-service options.

The group study rooms are larger, more interactive spaces where students can come together, exchange ideas and motivate one another.

As part of the new building, U of L also created a student success center that will offer academic support, advising and career services in one spot.

Calhoun Construction Services served as a Trade Contractor self-performing all of the metal-stud framing, drywall and acoustical ceilings throughout the facility.

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Square Footage:  150,000 sqft
Year Completed:   2018
Project Location:  Louisville, KY
Contract Type:  Trade Contractor

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Timeline Photos:

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University of Louisville Student Activities Center – Phase 1 and 2 Renovation

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The University of Louisville Student Activities Center, or The SAC, is the main hub for student activities on the University of Louisville campus. The west wing of the SAC houses the campus bookstore, campus food services, a fast-food court, the Cardinal Corner Game Room, SAC Multipurpose room, as well as, the Student Activities and Dean of Students offices.

The east wing of the SAC includes Athletics.

The University of Louisville has space to reserve both for its student groups and the community at large.

Calhoun Construction served as general contractor on the first phase of the Student Activity Center renovation.  This first phase included demolition of former athletic courts and locker rooms to allow for construction of new classrooms, offices and labs for the Health and Sport Science department.  This department along with the PEACC department moved into their new spaces which allowed for the complete demolition of the old Student Services Annex building just to the south of the west wing of the SAC.  At the completion of the demo of the old annex, the next phase of the renovation project will be ready which will include construction of an addition to the SAC.

Calhoun self-performed the selective demolition, drywall, acoustical ceilings, as well as doors and hardware on the project.  Phase 1 work was completed in a tight 8-week construction schedule which was completed prior to the 1-month demolition of the Annex building.

 

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Square Footage:  40,000 sq ft
Year Completed: 2016
Project Location:  Louisville, KY
Contract Type:  General Contractor

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Timeline Photos

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University of Louisville Ekstrom Library

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The University of Louisville (UofL) is a public university in Louisville, Kentucky, a member of the Kentucky state university system. When founded in 1798, it was the first city-owned public university in the United States and one of the first universities chartered west of the Allegheny Mountains. The university is mandated by the Kentucky General Assembly to be a “Preeminent Metropolitan Research University”.  UofL enrolls students from 118 of 120 Kentucky counties, all 50 U.S. states, and 116 countries around the world.

The University Library grew from an original donation of Dean John Letcher Patterson’s personal collection in the early 1900s. By 1950, the library had over 36,000 books in its collection. In 1956, the University gave the library its own building (now Schneider Hall) to accommodate the growing collection.

By 1970, the collection contained over 200,000 items. At the end of the 1970s, the University Library building reached capacity, forcing parts of the collection to be placed in storage. Plans were made to create a new $14 million library to accommodate the growing collection. Named after Dr. William F. Ekstrom, a noted English Professor and the first Academic Vice-President of the University, the Ekstrom Library opened on August 28, 1981.

Calhoun Construction served as the General Contractor for the Eskstrom Library Delphi Center 3rd floor. Calhoun self-performed the metal stud framing, installation of hollow metal frames, doors and window frames, drywall hanging and finishing, acoustical ceilings, painting and new mechanical system.

 

 

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Square Footage:  9,509 sq ft
Year Completed: 2016
Project Location:  Louisville, KY
Contract Type:  General Contractor

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Timeline Photos

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University of Louisville Medical-Dental Research Building (MDR)

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The University of Louisville Medical-Dental Research Building (MDR) is a 116,672 SF building that was built in 1962 in Louisville, KY. The building serves as a home-base for reseach of Anatomical Science and Neurobiology, Cardiology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Neurology, and several other facets of the medical industry. Working for the University of Louisville, Calhoun Construction recently completed a major renovation within this facitily for the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology. Their research focuses on the form and function of developing sensory systems.

The renovation project that Calhoun completed was Phase 7 of a multi-phased renovation to the seven-story MDR building. Phase 7 consisted of a 2,445 SF renovation of the 4th Floor, where all the work had to be performed with the building remaining operational.   The renovations included complete demolition of the existing lab areas and new rooms being constructed for new offices, student work areas, open labs, wet lab, surgery areas, RIG rooms, and a behavioral area. Calhoun installed all new finishes, laboratory casework, fume hoods, exhaust snorkels, and reworked and installed new mechanical and electrical systems. The contracted project schedule was for 15 weeks. Due to extensive planning and critical coordination, Calhoun was able to cut the schedule down to 13 weeks and enable the Owners to move into the space 2 weeks early.

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Square Footage: 2,445 sq ft
Year Completed: 2016
Project Location:  Louisville, KY
Contract Type:  General Contractor

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Timeline Photos

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Renovation of two classrooms celebrated

Renovation of two classrooms celebrated

UofL officials unveil plaque recognizing KentuckyOne Health contribution

Renovation of two classrooms celebrated

One of two new classrooms

The School of Nursing has increased its capacity to educate more baccalaureate, advanced practice and research focused nurses through the renovation of two classrooms. A plaque in each room recognizes KentuckyOne Health for its $1 million contribution to the project.

The rooms allow for seating up to 100 people, and are equipped with the latest technology that can be used for opportunities like distance education and web-based continuing education presentations. In real time, the school can easily connect to Owensboro, home of the BSN extension campus, and the KentuckyOne Health’s twenty plus hospital system. Building the nursing workforce to create a healthier Kentucky is the goal.


Papa John's Cardinal Stadium

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With the completion of a major expansion on the east side, in August 2010, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium at the University of Louisville solidified its reputation as a premier college football facility and extrordinary community asset.  The dramatic expansion increases the stadium capacity to 55,000 seats and provides exciting, state of the art features for fans of every type.

New premium seating includes the PNC Club and loge area with capacity of 1750.  Three bars service the luxury club space, accessed easily from the seating, and the loge offers an expansive view of the football field from inside comfort.  The addition also provides 33 new luxury suites with stairways and a balcony overlooking the PNC Club.  Suites and the PNC Club are serviced by five elevators.

Another fan-friendly aspect of this expansion is the construction of the Norton Terrace that connects the east and west sides of the stadium seating bowls via a 60-foot wide concourse veranda overlooking the playing field.  The area includes concessions and restrooms accessible from the seating areas.

The UPS flight deck is the new upper concourse and seating area. High above the field, these 1000 new chairback seats offer great views of the game from a rare vantage point which is sure to become popular with fans. Numerous concession stands and restrooms service the Flight Deck for the convenience of fans who have the option of using an accessible speed ramp for entry and exit.

The expansion also provides new 20’x60′ Daktronics video wall as well as a new video wall visible from the outside south of the stadium and enhanced video sign on Central Avenue south of the stadium.

These new features join the other amenities that garnered a reputation for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium as an outstanding venue since its opening in 1998.  The Brown and Williamson Club provides a flexible upscale space for private and community gatherings of all types from wedding receptions to trade shows and expos.  Along with the 29 original luxury suites and all-chairback seating, the original stadium encompasses 1800 premium club seats.  Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium sets the standard for fan friendly university athletic facilities.

Calhoun Construction served as General Contractor/Trade Contractor for a systematic repair and rehabilitation of the concrete around the aisle railings throughout the stadium in 2015.

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Square Footage:  N/A
Year Completed:  2015
Project Location:  Louisville, KY
Contract Type:  General Contractor/ Trade Contractor

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Timeline Photos

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University of Louisville School of Nursing

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The University of Louisville School of Nursing is an essential partner of a research intensive academic health science center in a nationally recognized University serving a metropolitan community. The U.S. News & World Reports ranks the UofL School of Nursing #60 among America’s best graduate schools in nursing.

Calhoun Construction Services served as the General Contractor on the renovation of an existing space into two 100 person classrooms. Calhoun installed new electrical wiring, HVAC, flooring, aluminum storefront, furniture and paint throughout the first, second and third floors.

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Square Footage:  4,600 sq. ft.
Year Completed:  2015
Project Location:  Louisville, KY
Contract Type:  General Contractor

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Timeline Photos

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Ribbon Cutting For The Heaven Hill Bar @ KFC YUM! Center

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The Quad In the Medical District NULU

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The Quad In the Medical District are affiliated apartments for the University of Louisville medical and dental students, plus public health and graduate nursing students live within blocks of the University of Louisville’s Health Sciences Campus.

With over 100 units, Calhoun Construction Services served as the General Contractor creating studio, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units with a full kitchen and private baths, plus a common gathering/study room featuring a tv, deck, laundry machines, secured entrances and parking located below the building. Units feature large windows, central air and full kitchens with all new appliances.

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Square Footage:  53,800 sq ft
Year Completed:  2015
Project Location:  Louisville, KY
Contract Type:  General Contractor

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Timeline Photos

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