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Mission to enclose Murphy Hall before winter continues

October 17th, 2013

Murphy Hall’s skeleton remains a fenced-in project, emulating the feel of an abandoned mansion. Construction is continuing and plans to enclose the building before winter are well underway.

Murphy Hall’s construction has been focused on the outside foundation for the last month. Carol Dietz, associate vice president of facilities, explained the many construction updates.

The exterior masonry restoration has been completed. All the windows have been delivered and the installation will be completed by mid-October. The old, flat roofs have been removed and new roofs will be in place by mid-October, while slate roof repairs and framework projects are currently in progress.

The foundations, steel framing and new floors have already been placed, and work on new electrical, plumbing and ductwork in the new interior spaces has begun. Dietz added that there will be a gas shutdown on Oct. 18 in order to connect the new electrical and gas supplies to Murphy Hall.

“One of the main objectives through the fall months is to completely enclose the building before winter,” Dietz said.

The construction crew wants to complete window caulking, slate roof repairs, block and masonry work and window installation. Drywall installation will begin by the end of October. The end of October is also a deadline for framing, electrical, plumbing and ductwork for the interior of the hall. The crew also will begin building two new elevator shafts soon.

“The main goals of the construction crew are to complete the build of all the interior spaces by late winter,” Dietz said, with February as an estimated deadline. The interior space construction includes block, drywall, plumbing, fire protection, electrical and data conduits and mechanical ductwork and equipment. After the interior is finalized, the contractor will begin work on the beautification projects: painting, carpeting and wall-covering.

“Internally, JCU is working on finalizing all the paint color, wall covering, flooring and carpet selections and will begin the furniture specification and selection process in the next few weeks,” Dietz said.

Many students have wondered about the strings of lights illuminating from Murphy Hall on a round-the-clock basis. Dietz explained that the lights are on for safety and security purposes.

“The lights are compact fluorescents and are very energy efficient,” Dietz said.

Many students said that they felt like the construction was going smoothly and were fully excited for the renovation.

“The construction is an eyesore,” sophomore Natalie Wetzel said. “However, I do realize it’s necessary.”

“I never got a chance to live in Murphy Hall as a freshman, so I hope that I will be able to as a senior,” junior Jade Clay said.

Junior Jill Falzini is optimistic that the  results of the construction will be beautiful. However, she jokingly added that she questions whether the construction will be completed as scheduled.

Senior Rachel Morgan said that not hearing any noises from the construction crew was a nice surprise.

“The plans look so nice,” Morgan said. “I’m definitely jealous of all the people who can live there next year. I guess that means I’ll have to come back after I graduate and take a look at it.”