Cudahy Science Hall Undergoes $14.5 Million Renovation

Sean Hemmersmeier | The PhoenixCudahy was chosen for renovations because the building didn’t have a properly functioning elevator and HVAC system.

As Loyola students settle into their routines for the spring semester, they will have to navigate yet another renovation project on campus.

The newest renovation project is for the Cudahy Science Hall, located in the heart of Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. 

The physics department and the Center for Science and Math Education (CSME) were both located in Cudahy and had to move as a result of the renovation project, according to Kana Henning, the associate vice president for facilities — a department at the university responsible for maintaining buildings. CSME was relocated to the Edward Crown Center for the Humanities, according to the center’s Instagram page. The physics faculty offices were moved to St. Joseph’s Hall, Henning said. The classes usually taught in Cudahy were moved to different buildings and labs around campus, according to Henning. 

These renovations cost $14.5 million, and the money will come from Loyola’s capital budget, according to Henning. The capital budget is responsible for the upkeep of Loyola’s assets that are valued at $5,000 or greater, according to Loyola’s website. The project started Dec. 15, right after final exams for the fall semester finished, and is scheduled to be completed Aug. 1, according to the facilities website.

“I’m happy the university took a very radical stance instead of just having a cheap fix.”

Constantin Rasinariu, Physics department chair

Cudahy was built in 1910,  making it the second oldest building on campus, according to Loyola’s website. Cudahy was last renovated in the 1970s and 1980s, according to Henning. Loyola’s current online description of Cudahy is out of date, describing the classrooms as “new and modern,” and boasting a classroom-sized computer lab that was introduced for the 2004-05 school year.

Loyola consulted with the physics department about the renovation, according to Henning. The renovations will include updating the design of classrooms to make them more open, increasing student study spaces, renewing the building’s infrastructure and improving labs, which will allow for more advanced research, according to Constantin Rasinariu, Ph.D., the chair of Loyola’s physics department. 

Moving classes and labs was no small task since there are around 100 physics majors at Loyola and the physics department teaches another 600 students every semester, according to Rasinariu.

There have been seven different renovation projects at Lake Shore Campus during 2019, according to the Loyola facilities website. The Cudahy project is the biggest renovation the department is working on, Henning said. 

Loyola listed this project as a need for the campus since 2013, according to Loyola’s campus plan for 2014-24, a cohesive list of potential projects and needs for renovation at Loyola. 

The classrooms aren’t meeting the needs of students, according to the campus plan. Cudahy doesn’t have a properly functioning elevator and the HVAC system  — which controls the heating and ventilation of the building — needs repairs, according to Henning. 

Cudahy has some “basic” problems with the overall function of the building, Rasinariu said, citing old machinery and limited bathrooms. The space in the building also wasn’t used efficiently and the SMART technology — which included collaborative projectors and whiteboards —  didn’t mesh well with the classrooms, in that the SMART screens obstructed the chalkboards and the technology was dated and difficult to use, according to Rasinariu. 

Some students are glad to see the interior of Cudahy being renovated. Elle Petravicius, a junior anthropology major said, “The layout was confusing and I got lost a lot.”

Rasinariu said he’s pleased with how Loyola has handled the renovations.

“I’m happy that the university took a very radical stance instead of just having a cheap fix,” Rasinariu said. “They went for a deep renovation from which all Loyola students would benefit.”

With the many construction projects this school year, some students have expressed their fatigue, including a first-year neuroscience major, Aishu Sancula.  

“I just want it to get done since I walk by there every day for class,” said Sanchula.

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