ASC temporarily closes two Richardson Hall entrances

(12-12-2011)

The east and southwest entrances to Adams State's Richardson Hall are temporarily closed as a safety precaution, according to Erik van de Boogaard, associate vice president for Facilities Planning, Design & Construction. Some of the building's aged masonry work has become unstable and presents a hazard, he explained. Both doors are accessible as emergency exits, however. The north, south, and northwest building entrances remain available.

The main (east) entrance to Richardson Hall is temporarily closed.

The main (east) entrance to Richardson Hall is temporarily closed.

"We are taking steps to protect building users from any falling debris," van de Boogaard added. Fencing and covered walkways will shortly be erected at these entrances, based on recommendations by Blythe Group Co., Architecture, Interior Design, Project Management.

The southwest entrance to Richardson Hall, which faces Edgemont, is temporarily closed.

The southwest entrance to Richardson Hall, which faces Edgemont, is temporarily closed.

The State Architect's Office allocated emergency funds to build the walkways and to conduct an overall forensic study of the building's masonry, to see whether additional action is warranted. The fencing and exit structures will remain in place until repairs can be made.

The Colorado state legislature's Capital Development Committee recently granted preliminary approval to fund complete renovation of Richardson Hall, the college's oldest structure. Construction of the central wing began in 1921; Richardson Hall's last major renovation occurred in 1974.

The $20 million project was prioritized by the state in 2008, but funding has been unavailable. It is uncertain when the renovation funds will be awarded, due to Colorado's continuing budget constraints, noted Adams State Vice President for Finance & Governmental Affairs, Bill Mansheim. "It could be a couple of years."

The Richardson Hall project entails renovation of the building's current 67,541 square-feet, and a 4,000 square-foot addition to improve ADA accessibility. The project includes renovation of Richardson Hall Auditorium and creation of a backup computer operations area.

By Julie Waechter