Richardson Ave. from First to Second St. to close this week

(01-10-2011)

The 100 block of Richardson Ave., between First and Second streets, will be permanently closed to traffic beginning Friday, Jan. 14, according to Erik van de Boogaard, Adams State College's associate vice president for Facilities Planning, Design & Construction.

"This is the final phase of street vacation approved by City Council last March 17 to facilitate campus development," he said.

The closure is occurring prior to the start of the college's spring semester on Jan. 18 to reduce potential complications associated with the renovation of the college's former Education and Social Science (ES) building on the corner of First and Richardson. The facility was recently renamed McDaniel Hall.

Both the first and second floors of ASC's ES Building have been gutted.

Both the first and second floors of ASC's ES Building have been gutted.

"Our number one concern was for safety of students, faculty, staff and the greater community. It is easier to start the semester this way, rather than try to re-train people mid-way through the semester to a change in traffic patterns," van de Boogaard added.

Classes normally held in the building will be held in other campus locations for the spring 2011 semester. The building's occupants were relocated to other campus offices in late 2010, and gutting of the building's interior began Dec. 19.

The renovation of ASC's McDaniel Hall (formerly the ES building) will create a light, open atmosphere, as shown in this drawing of the new first floor study lounge.

The renovation of ASC's McDaniel Hall (formerly the ES building) will create a light, open atmosphere, as shown in this drawing of the new first floor study lounge.

An extensive renovation of the 43-year-old structure will renew it as the principal site for Adams State's humanities and education classes. Half of the college's 2,500 on-campus students attend class there five days a week. The building houses the departments of English, Theatre & Communications; History, Government, Foreign Languages & Philosophy; Psychology; Sociology; Teacher Education; Counselor Education; Title V; and the Academic Instructional Technology Center.

"We hope that with the disbursement of the occupants and programs from the ES Building to various locations throughout campus that the parking needs will also be diversified throughout the campus," van de Boogaard said.

Last fall, the college completed construction of two new parking lots, one just south of Plachy Hall and another across Stadium Dr. to the east. A new lot west of the Nielsen Library on First St. was opened in the fall of 2009. Beginning in late spring, a new 130-space parking lot will be developed east of McDaniel Hall, at First & Richardson Ave. The lot will be accessible from the south via Richardson Ave., as well as from First St.

The $11.4 million project is funded through a student-approved capital construction fee. The fee also supports the nearly finished renovation of Leon Memorial Concert Hall, as well as an addition to and renovation of the Music Building, to begin later this spring.

Leon Memorial Concert Hall's new, comfortable seating.

The first music lovers to enjoy Leon Memorial Concert Hall's new, comfortable seating will be those who attend the Jan. 19 performance of the West African drumming and dance ensemble Bernard Woma and Saakumu, presented by the Alamosa Live Music Association's (ALMA) at 6 p.m.

By Julie Waechter