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SUNY Oswego prepares for Wilber Hall renovations, other projects

Wilber Hall
A rendering of Wilber Hall’s renovation work on a common area in the building’s lower level. The project will finish “modernization” of the School of Education and its “reunification” with adjacent Park Hall, SUNY Oswego said in a news release issued June 6.

OSWEGO — The renovation project at SUNY Oswego’s Wilber Hall represents the final phase of the improvements at the university’s School of Education.

The $10 million project will bring all six of the school’s departments under adjacent roofs in Wilber and Park halls “for the first time in many years,” SUNY Oswego said in a news release issued June 6.

The two schools are connected with an atrium “already in place.”


PAC Associates of Oswego recently submitted the low bid for work that should start “no later” than July 1.

The work will provide about 80 jobs through Wilber’s full reopening in January 2019, Mitch Fields, associate VP for facilities, said in the release.

Renovation plans
Fields also expressed excitement at construction plans for the project at Wilber Hall, which opened in 1964 as an addition to Park Hall.

Of the four levels under focus in the project, three are “above ground,” the school said.

“We’re going to have state-of-the-art, very forward-looking classrooms that enable 21st century [methods] in K-12 teacher instruction,” he said. “The School of Education was the origin for what became SUNY Oswego, the core of our beginning.”

Wilber’s design, which Ithaca–based Chiang O’Brien Architects handled, indicates a first-floor commons with a light well extending to the lower level as a central focus.

The health promotion and wellness department will have a wellness center on the lower level, along with classrooms.

The curriculum and instruction department will have offices, a testing center, and conference rooms and large classrooms on the first and second floors.

The counseling and psychological-services department, which is now located in Mahar Hall, will have its offices on the third floor of the renovated Wilber Hall, along with a play-therapy lab, session rooms, a large classroom, and conference and common areas.

On the building’s exterior, Wilber’s renovated façade will feature new window openings with “updated, energy-efficient” windows.

Fields said he expects parts of Wilber Hall to become available for re-occupancy as early as September 2018.

“I’ve worked on many projects on many campuses,” said Fields. “Our design consultants deserve a lot of the credit for where we are now.”

Fields was on the staff of the SUNY Construction Fund before joining SUNY Oswego, the university said.

Other projects
Besides its work on Wilber Hall, PAC Associates is also preparing to begin $2.8 million in work on roofing, energy-efficient windows and doors, and related exterior work for Lee Hall, which opened in 1958.

The exterior renovation of Lee Hall begins this summer, SUNY Oswego said.

Lee Hall houses a gymnasium, swimming pool, and dance studios, as well as the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, the college’s central-heating plant, and maintenance and operations staff.

Lee Hall is located adjacent to the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation, what SUNY Oswego considers “visually the centerpiece of east campus rebirth.”

The upcoming work also includes the design of the final phase in Tyler Hall’s improvements, according to Fields.

The exterior work will focus on an effort to “tie in its look and eventually to connect it” with Hewitt Union, which is projected as the new home for the communication and graphic-art programs in the School of Communication, Media and the Arts.

The state’s capital budget for the new fiscal year includes $550 million for SUNY state-operated campuses, according to Fields.

It’s part of a five-year, state capital plan that features a “strong” investment in maintaining critical SUNY infrastructure and moving ahead with “priority” construction projects, SUNY Oswego said.


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