An official ceremony was held Sept. 17 for the campus landmark. The building underwent $11 million in updates for applied engineering and technology, graphic arts, and arts programs.
Cal U rededicated Coover Hall on Sept. 17, inviting members of the campus community inside for a look at the modern transformation of a campus landmark.
The building was ready for the start of the Fall 2019 semester after a two-year, $11 million project added more than 4,200 square feet to the former industrial arts building, constructed in 1938.
“Coover Hall has been transformed into a thoroughly modern facility, with all the latest technology,” said President Geraldine M. Jones in her remarks at the ceremony. “It’s an ideal home for our Department of Applied Engineering and Technology, and for some of our hands-on courses in art and graphic design.”
Specialized areas include an automated controls lab, a fluids lab, a heavy fabrication lab, a jewelry/metals studio, a printmaking studio, a sculpture/3D design studio, a senior projects lab, a STEM/clean prototyping lab, and a strength and materials lab. The physical technologies lab will allow students to learn about light fabrication and to work with metals, plastics and woods.
Students studying mechatronics engineering technology, industrial technology and technology education programs will be at home in Coover Hall as they work with 3D printers, laser engravers, a digital flatbed cutter and a small-format CNC milling machine.
“Smart” classrooms equipped with the latest technology and instructional computer labs are also located in the renovated Coover Hall.
“These are all spaces that will enhance all of our programs,” said Dr. Joseph Schickel, chair of the Department of Applied Engineering and Technology. “Our students will benefit from the hands-on learning experiences they will get in the labs.”
President Jones acknowledged the input from Steve Whitehead, associate provost, and Brenda Fredette, dean of the Eberly College of Science and Technology, who helped plan the academic components of the project. Faculty members shared their expertise as well — Schickel and Arcides Gonzalez, chair of the Art and Languages Department; Jennifer and Brent Wilburn, from mechatronics engineering technology; Scott Lloyd and Jim Bove, from Art and Languages; Greg Harrison and Spencer Norman, from graphic design.
“Your specialized knowledge played a big part in creating this center for excellence in teaching and learning,” President Jones said.
Robert Thorn, vice president for Administration and Finance managed the project with Mike Kanalis, director of Facilities Management, and Jeff Amos, assistant director of planning and construction.
As the upgrades were made, Thorn called the project “a significant investment in our instructional core.”
“Thanks to these folks, and many more, Coover Hall is once again a point of pride for our campus,” President Jones said.