Brighter surroundings emerge from Stranahan Hall refurbishment project

November 4, 2011 | Features, UToday



Stranahan Hall South, home of the UT College of Business and Innovation for almost three decades, was brightly transformed for fall semester with its first bottom-to-top refurbishment.

Andy Ritter, left, and Adam Demaline of Lakeside Interior Contractors Inc., Perrysburg, painted and put final touches on several rooms and offices in Stranahan Hall South over the summer.

Chipped paint and traffic-worn carpets yielded to the arrival of gallons of fresh ivory-colored latex paint and contemporary high-traffic-strength floor coverings. From the first to the fifth floors, no room was left untouched.

“Stranahan Hall South was ready for this refurbishment project, as it still had the painting and original carpeting from when the building opened more than 25 years ago,” said Sandy Whitman, administrative assistant in the College of Business and Innovation Dean’s Office. “With 3,000 students using this building every semester, it was time to address the basics: namely fresh paint, new carpeting and window treatments in each room and hallway, and new lighting in the hallways.”

Refurbishment of the first floor lobby and the fifth floor offices took place in December and January, while the painting and carpeting of floors two, three and four occurred during the summer to minimize the impact on faculty and students. Classrooms on the ground floor of Stranahan Hall received fresh paint a couple years ago.

“Making this happen truly required a team effort,” Whitman said. “Every office and conference room in Stranahan Hall South had to be emptied for a few days, so we went through a lot of cardboard boxes and cleaning of files.”

She added, “It’s important to emphasize that the money for this project did not come out of student fees, but from private donations.”

When donors — including college alumni, faculty and staff — contributed during the fundraising campaign to build the new Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement, also known as Stranahan Hall North, they contributed $1 million specifically for these physical improvements to Stranahan Hall South, which was dedicated in 1984.

With just a few exceptions — such as the new PhD Seminar Room (the previous Neff Trading Room) and classrooms 3056 and 4050 that received new tables and chairs — the existing furniture from each office found its way back home.

The first floor student lounge went through a greater transformation as it became a Provisions on Demand location. It’s a place where all students, faculty and staff can obtain a sandwich, salad, slice of pizza or snack.

“Aramark [UT’s food service provider] was looking for a location to provide this service in this area of campus,” Whitman said. “We thought it was an appropriate use of the space and a great idea that would benefit everyone on this side of campus.”

“We encourage the UT community to come see the fresh look to our college home, stop by the new Provisions on Demand for something to eat, and, of course, take some business classes in the newly refurbished Stranahan Hall South,” said College of Business and Innovation Dean Thomas Gutteridge.