Cohodas to undergo renovations in 2009

brice.burge

The lobby of Cohodas will be getting a facelift next semester.

The renovation will include tiered ceiling styles, new lighting fixtures and new building entrance doors.

Some changes will be easier to make as NMU plans to lay carpeting over the current tile floor, install drywall and install an oak chair-rail trim to the brick walls. An LCD screen may also be added to display announcements.

“We’re trying to make the atmosphere more inviting,” Brandon Sager, the owners’ representative and sustainability coordinator at NMU said. He is also the project manager for this renovation.

“It’s a pretty simple project,” said Sager. “The only reason why it’s so high-profile is the location.”

Bids will be put up by local construction companies after the first of the year, and the construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2009.

Cohodas is home to four different academic departments, as well as the College of Business and Academic Affairs.

It also includes the office for NMU President Les Wong, other administrators, the Alumni Association and the NMU Foundation.

The building is also commonly visited by donors, alumni and tours of prospective students.

Now, Cohodas is seeing more community members visiting its newest addition, the Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center, which is located on the ground floor of the building.

“With the addition of the newly renovated lobby and the Center’s new gallery, we will have a first-rate welcome center for visitors to campus,” said Center Director and Curator Dan Truckey. “The current lobby does not make a good first impression with our visitors, and the renovation will be a great improvement.”

The new ceiling design and lighting fixtures will now match the interior of the Center. The Center, which came to Cohodas less than two years ago from the Superior Dome, was once a part of a much larger open lobby area with couches and sitting areas.

Now the Center is one of the only points of interest in a dark entryway to the tallest building on campus.

“It’s a good idea to make the lobby warm and inviting,” said NMU Marketing Director Anne Stark, who works in Cohodas. “The building has a whole lot more visibility and access with the Center. It’s nice to have an attractive home for something that can be used by the whole U.P.”

The current renovations will also see more environmentally friendly styles of installations and materials to match the rest of the university renovations.

“We try to focus as much as we can on (good environmental practices),” said Sager. “The materials will be no different than what we did for our LEED certified dorms. Our building and construction specifications are tailored toward the green side of building construction.”

This project will not signal the start of the proposed $18 million renovation to the entire building, however.

NMU did not receive the requested funding from the state for the entire project, but did receive enough to cover the $150,000 budget for this project.