Summer is always a time for us to make major capital improvements to our facilities and this summer of 2016 is no exception. This year’s projects are aimed primarily at three areas: the fine arts, athletics, and academics/administration.
The biggest project is a $1 million makeover of the Buetow Auditorium. This project includes replacement and reconfiguration of the seats, rebuilding of the stage, repairs and upgrades to the organ, improvements to sound, lighting and acoustics, and paint and visual enhancements throughout the space. We are grateful that the entire project has been funded through donor support and plan a rededication of the auditorium and recognition of our supporters on August 29. We are also grateful to our long-time partner Kraus-Anderson, which is managing the project.
Donor gifts are also helping fund major changes in athletic locker rooms in the Gangelhoff Center, Fandrei Building, and the Lutheran Memorial Center (LMC), where our women’s softball team and new women’s lacrosse team will have their homes. We are also planning to improve our facilities for weight training and fitness, which will benefit all our athletic teams.
After acquiring a lease on the fifth floor of the Central Midway Building last year, we are finalizing a lease on the ninth floor as well. Construction is ensuing this summer to prepare the space to house the Office of University Advancement, and two additional classrooms. The view from that floor is spectacular and I can’t wait for you to see it!
The building at 1371 Marshall Avenue is being transformed into the Center for International Studies. Our growing population of international students – from 13 countries last year – will receive the space they need to adapt to and flourish in their home-away-from-home at Concordia University. We have truly been enriched by the growth of our international population in recent years and their sheer numbers led us to dedicate a single building to their support.
In addition to all these major facility upgrades, a number of faculty offices are slated for new paint, carpet and general fix-up this summer as well. We have a rotation in place for upgrading all offices and classrooms, and most of them have gotten some kind of attention over the last ten years.
Finally, we are not only making improvements to a number of facilities, we are also parting with two. The Dobberfuhl Apartment Building on Marshall Avenue and the Schlueter Apartment Building on Dayton are being sold. These buildings have been under university ownership for many decades, but certainly are in need of the tender love and care they will receive from new owners. We anticipate that proceeds from the sale of these two properties will be reinvested into the purchase of property contiguous to the campus when opportunities arise in the future. We are grateful to another long-time partner, Frauenshuh Companies, which is managing a number of facility and land transitions for us.
I am also grateful to all those on our university faculty and staff directly involved in the planning and execution of these important changes on our campus. May God grant all of you a restful summer . . . unless you are one of those involved in these capital improvement projects, in which case you will need some rest in the fall!
Grace and peace.