The construction of the SHED is approaching the home stretch | laughs

This summer, construction of the Student Hall for Exploration and Development (the SHED) will begin to move beyond the complex into the surrounding area. Work will focus on finishing the exterior of SHED, connecting SHED to Monroe Hall and redoing the pedestrian walkway between George Eastman Hall and Wallace Library, among many other details.

The expanded construction area and the removal of the pedestrian tunnel are key to this next phase of the project, according to Mark Williams, Senior Project Manager of RIT’s Facilities Management Services.

While the quarter mile is closed, metal and glass panels will be attached to Monroe Hall to enclose a music studio on the second floor. The glazed room will extend over a new restaurant area located opposite the bakery and the Artesano café.

“The work right now is to focus on the front of the building along the quarter mile, Williams said. “Next we need to tear up the asphalt walking surface and install new granite curbs, concrete walking surface, new planting beds, stairs and ramps for the entrances to SHED and Monroe Hall.”

The lower section of the Kodak Quad Staircase will be rebuilt to align with the new surface level.

Signage will guide pedestrians to the “southern quarter mile” behind the Student Alumni Union or through George Eastman Hall during regular business hours because “safety is paramount,” Williams said.

Monroe Hall will connect to SHED on the first floor across from the Artesano Bakery and Cafe and the new Kosher Kitchen to be built next door. A classroom on the second floor of Student Services will be converted into a circulation lane to create another connection to SHED.

Steady progress continues on the interface between SHED and the Wallace Library, following last summer’s move of library and circulation collection services to Frank Ritter Ice Arena. Now, work within the Wallace Library is focused on redesigning the stair towers, installing new bathrooms, and installing two new elevators that connect the SHED and the library.

When students return in August, they will notice a difference between the SHED and the adjacent environment, Williams said.

“A significant amount of work along the quarter mile will be done, but also the building envelope – all the exterior materials that are being built – will be completed. From the outside, the building will look like it is meant to look when it is actually completed in 2023.”

RIT administrator and alumnus Austin McChord’s record $50 million gift to RIT in 2017 helped fund the complex that will redefine the campus. The SHED aims to facilitate collaboration between students using makerspaces, working in project teams and participating in performing arts groups, and among those using makerspaces.

The building will house individual rehearsal spaces, a large dance teaching studio and a music rehearsal studio. A black box/glass box theater seating 180 people will be reconfigurable to control the light entering the facility. Together, SHED and the renovated Wallace Library will add 27 new classrooms to the RIT campus, including 22 standard-size flexible classrooms in the Wallace Library and five extra-large active learning classrooms in SHED.

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