Regents to hear developing Folwell plans

The $34.5 million renovation project could begin December 2010.

by Taryn Wobbema

With the exception of Folwell HallâÄôs historic elements on the first floor and the marble staircases, schematic plans detail a demolition that will make way for modernized features, more accessibility and new technology in the 100-year-old building. The project will cost $34.5 million and is part of the 2010 project funding request for the state. The Legislature would allot two-thirds of the total funding and the University would pay the remaining amount. Plans for the interior renovations to the home to the College of Liberal Arts language departments will go before the University of MinnesotaâÄôs Board of Regents this week. The Facilities Committee will hear the specifics Thursday and the entire board will vote to approve the plans Friday. While historic aspects of Folwell will be restored, the renovations will also include new elevators and two new additional staircases, accessible restrooms, improved classrooms with new learning-based technology and faculty libraries. New conference and seminar space will be installed to encourage collaboration between faculty as well. FolwellâÄôs ventilation, heating, lighting and electrical power will also be replaced. Energy efficient windows will be installed and fire alarm and sprinkler systems will be updated. If funding is secured, the goal would be to begin construction in December 2010. The new and improved Folwell would be ready for occupancy for the 2012 spring semester.