Loyola’s decision to make renovations to the Granada Center is designed to improve the building, but the construction itself has a number of businesses frustrated.
The construction started in early May and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2020, according to Kana Henning, Loyola’s associate vice president for facilities — the arm of the school responsible for maintaining buildings and grounds.
“We do regular facilities assessments of our buildings, and we determined we had a number of big ticket items that it was time for us to look at bundling together in one project,” Henning said.
Construction includes renovating restrooms, elevators, heating, air conditioning and windows on the ground and second floor, according to Henning. The new windows will be environmentally friendly, improving the insulation in the building, she said.
The Granada Center is home to Loyola’s Information Technology Service, Human Resources, the Graduate School, Office of Research Services, Office of Equity and Compliance and the Wellness Center, Henning said. It also has a number of retail stores on its first floor.
Loyola’s Information Technology Service and Human Resources’ offices are temporarily relocated to St. Joseph’s Hall because of the construction, Henning said.
“It’s obviously a logistically difficult project,” Henning said. “We’ve been attempting to minimize disruption by working closely with those departments that have been impacted.”
Joan Holden, the director of the Wellness Center at Loyola, said the hope of the long-lasting improvements are worth the temporary construction.
“I’m not bothered by the construction,” Holden said. “We’ve been working closely with the contractors and they’ve been very congenial and attentive to our needs, so we haven’t been disturbed by it at all.”
Kevin Wolsko, a manager at the Loyola Bookstore at 6435 N. Sheridan Road, said the renovations are a “huge win.”
“It’s a great opportunity to create an environmental impact,” Wolsko said. “We haven’t had any problems so far.”
Zack Hayden, a manager at Caffe ArrivaDolce — a coffee shop at 6451 N. Sheridan Road — said he thinks the renovations are necessary.
“Hopefully, by the time they finish, everything will be working as far as heating and air conditioning goes,” the 23-year-old said.
However, Hayden said some people think the cafe is closed, so the construction hasn’t been “ideal.”
Steve Moon, a manager at Clarke’s — a restaurant at 6431 N. Sheridan Road — said the construction is a “tremendous inconvenience” and has caused the store to lose business.
“It’s a really big project,” the 55-year-old said.
Terry Gant, the owner of Third Coast Comics — a comic book store at 6443 N. Sheridan Road — said the scaffolding, temporary structures built to help with construction, has decreased his business opportunities.
“No one ever goes towards scaffolding,” the 50-year-old said. “They tend to move away from it and go, ‘I just won’t bother.’”
Henning said all first floor businesses were informed about renovations including the construction schedule, and access to each store remains available.