Old Norman Hall’s estimated $30 million renovations are expected to start late Spring.
After a timeline and proposed plan is approved, the building’s most pressing issues will be addressed at the start of the two-year project, said Glenn Good, the dean of the UF College of Education. Those issues include fixing leaky windows, outdated electrical work, heating and cooling systems, plumbing, the damaged rooftop and walls and floors containing asbestos.
“We’re restoring the building itself to a functional condition and bringing it into the 21st century,” Good said.
Once he approves an architect’s proposal, Good said an official timeline will be released.
During the first year of the project, $14.1 million will be used to fund the renovations, with funding approved last Spring by Gov. Rick Scott. The second half of the funding has not yet been raised.
Good said the building could be renovated one of two ways. The first plan would require completely vacating the building during the two-year project, which will allow construction to happen more quickly. The other plan is to complete the renovations in parts so students can attend class in the building during construction.
Good said he prefers to vacate old Norman completely and relocate students and faculty to the new Norman Hall to allow construction to move faster.
“Our goal is to produce the best building possible for the educational professionals of the future,” Good said.
UF science education lecturer Gayle Evans said she remembers studying in some of the same classrooms she teaches in today as a graduate student in the 1990s.
“I remember walking in thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, nothing has changed in almost 20 years,’” Evans said. She said one of the classrooms in which she teaches a three-hour class has only one power outlet for students.
“Even when you’re maintaining really old buildings, they’re still not very efficient,” she said. “I think it’s time for something new.”