Seitz Center

'Green' Renovation Planned for Tech's Oldest Building

In September 2009, the Indiana Tech Board of Trustees on Friday approved a plan to completely renovate the Administration Center, the oldest building on campus and one of the oldest buildings in Fort Wayne. The $3 million project will use “green” materials, construction methods, and technologies with a goal of achieving LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Level Certification.

The renovation project allows the university to accomplish several goals:
• Saving the historic building, which is in need of repairs and upgrades
• Increasing learning opportunities for students and the community
• Reorganizing the use of space throughout campus to centralize student services
• Becoming a more energy-efficient campus

The Administration Center was built in the 1850s as part of the Concordia Seminary campus. Indiana Tech purchased the building and campus in 1957. While the rest of the campus has undergone significant expansion, construction and improvements within the past 10 years, the building remains a recognizable landmark for alumni from throughout Indiana Tech’s history.

“We are being very diligent in preserving the architectural integrity of the building. Though the interior will be thoroughly modernized with ‘green’ technology, we will maintain the original 1850s exterior,” Indiana Tech President Arthur Snyder stated.

The renovated building will house a Campus Welcome Center, which will feature 1800s-style furniture and a fireplace built from bricks salvaged from the building. A museum area with display cases constructed from wood salvaged from the building will showcase mementos from Indiana Tech’s history.

An energy-saving geothermal heating and cooling system will be installed, and the university's engineering students and professors will use the updated building for innovative energy research. The building also will house a conference room and a monitoring gallery where visitors can view real-time energy usage results and learn more about green practices.

The Office of the President and other administrative offices will be moved into the renovated building from Abbott Center, allowing Abbott to be used as a center for student services featuring admissions, financial aid, the registrar, and the business office all in one convenient location.

The renovation project provides an opportunity for the university to incorporate more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly practices on campus. The design, by Viridian Architectural Design, will preserve the exterior brick shell of the building, windows, and door openings but integrate a new floor and roof system as well as energy efficient mechanical and electrical systems. Michael Kinder & Sons is the construction manager for the project.

Preliminary planning and surveying has already been done, and renovation work will began in October 2009. The project is expected to be completed by August 2010.

 

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