Youngstown State University’s DeBartolo and Cushwa halls are undergoing interior renovations receiving work ranging from new paint, to carpeting, as well as lighting.
The projects are being run by two contracting agencies. Hively Construction Company is working on Cushwa Hall while De Salvo Construction Company is remodeling DeBartolo Hall.
DeBartolo Hall is undergoing two phases of work.
The first phase is this summer and the second phase is next summer. The first phase costs about $750,000 while phase two costs about $1 million.
Cushwa Hall is having its entire project done this summer, costing $1.9 million.
DeBartolo Hall renovations are being paid for by university bond funds while Cushwa Hall repairs are being funded by state capital money.
Bill Spencer, staff architect at YSU, explained the process DeBartolo Hall is undergoing in its first phase of renovation.
“In this phase, we will be working on the basement, first, and fifth floors as well as stairwells and student areas on floors two through five,” Spencer said.
This renovation will also be adding a double entry door to both east and west entrances to DeBartolo Hall, eliminating the vacuum feeling and sound in the entrances. This is also to regulate the temperature within the building during the winter months.
Spencer added that there would be significant changes to the student lounge area on the first floor.
“There will be new floors as well as a new ceiling and also upgrades to the vending area,” Spencer said.
Shearle Furnish, the dean of the YSU College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, explained that renovations have been far overdue in many areas of the building.
“No significant remodeling has ever been done to DeBartolo Hall since its construction in the 1970s,” Furnish said.
Furnish also added that no serious problems were identified that called for the remodeling to happen and that the university was looking to update the building’s look.
“The building’s environmental infrastructure, public face, decor and department offices are being updated as befits a 21st-century facility,” Furnish said.
Cushwa Hall is also under going under a complete remodel.
Richard Feldmiller, senior project manager, explained that the hall is undergoing a complete renovation.
“All common areas, great room, facility and staff offices, and some class rooms are being worked on. We also will be painting on all floors as well as installing new lighting in the great room area,” Feldmiller said.
Feldmiller also added that the painting, flooring and lighting will be very similar to that is being installed in the DeBartolo Hall renovation.
The 37-year-old building’s latest work was done last year on the atriums located on the first floor of Cushwa Hall.Both of these remodeling projects are still going on during school hours. In order to accommodate students classes in both buildings have been relocated and some faculty are required to vacate their offices for a short while in order for their offices to be remodeled.
David Simonelli, an assistant professor of history, is one of those professors who had to pack up their office.
“It’s a bit of an inconvenience to have all my books packed up until July, but there is also a movement afoot to rearrange the history department to gain more work and seminar space, so mostly the inconvenience has been accompanied by hope for the future,” Simonelli said.
Simonelli said the future is not all he is looking forward to once this construction is over.
“If nothing else, the carpet in my office is more than 30 years old. Glad to see it go.” Simonelli said.