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Hayes Hall Enters Modern Age

Article by Dan Hartman and Gabriela Diaz / Photos by Dan Hartman

Published May 11, 2016

Dan Hartman (UB Student, Class of 2016) was born in Rochester, NY. He transferred to UB after earning an Associate’s Degree at Monroe Community College and is working towards completing his Bachelor’s in Communication. Dan hopes to become a screenwriter someday. In his free time, he enjoys working out, eating cereal, and spending time with his friends.

If you look at the outside of Hayes Hall, the nineteenth century architectural design dates back to the 1870s, making it one of UB’s oldest buildings However, when you step inside, the cutting-edge technology and modern layout could fool you into thinking that this building was just built.

Stating that Hayes Hall has been renovated would be an understatement. Five years and 44 million dollars later, this academic building has been gutted and reborn as the modern home for UB’s School of Architecture and Planning. 

A team of UB Information Technology staff played a large part in Hayes Hall’s renovation. From the network installation to the AV input, members of UBIT staff offered their skills to make sure that the renovations were a success.

Steve Crane, Instructional Support Technician, managed the AV design and installation. He told UBIT News, “It takes an entire team, working together to conceptualize the goals of our customer, to design and install a fully operational educational environment that meets and exceeds their expectations.”

Jack Empson, Mark Sheehan, Greg Nolte and Dave Sepulveda of Network and Classroom Services, part of UB Information Technology, were responsible for AV systems configuration and testing. Fifteen 80” interactive displays are spread throughout the building for collaboration. Two 11,000 ANSI lumen laser projectors cast clear pictures above the first floor lobby, and these particular projectors are exclusive to Hayes Hall, found nowhere else at UB. An open layout lecture hall on the fourth floor overlooks South Campus, and the building includes two computer labs and classroom learning spaces.

A display screen in Hayes Hall.

Nearly every floor in the center core of Hayes Hall was removed and replaced to accommodate new programs. All non-structural walls in the wings were removed, creating new spaces that were then reconstructed to meet modern academic functions. Any remaining structural walls were restored.

State-of-the-art technology has been integrated throughout the entire building including studios and academic spaces. Mike Sparkes, Network Engineer, was responsible for managing the building’s network design and installation. “All of the building’s system controls, such as card access, security cameras and HVAC, are on UB’s network,” Mike said.

A modern energy efficient heating, cooling and ventilation system has been installed in the Telecommunications rooms. Not only does this save Architecture and Planning students from the year-round 90-degree steam emerging from the building, but it is a major element of the expected LEED Gold designation for the building.

A new classroom inside Hayes Hall.

Renovations also include improved wireless access to ensure that students will have high speed service and great coverage. “There were just nine wireless access points prior to the renovation,” said Leslie Evans, Project Manager for UB Information Technology, “Now we’re up to 28. These same access points are being installed across UB’s campus as part of the Wi-Fi Boost project.” Leslie worked closely with Facilities Planning and Design and the SUNY Construction Fund to coordinate and execute UBIT’s upgrades to Hayes Hall.

Marc Doull, Network Analyst, coordinated with Verizon service installation and other phone and fax needs for the building. Communications System Technician Richard Roberts managed data port activation needs. From the many computing labs to the high ceilings, all of the changes to Hayes Hall will greatly benefit Architecture and Planning students.

Most of the building systems hanging from the ceiling are exposed and labeled, a building code requirement that also helps to teach students how the building works. Bruce Majkowski, Associate Dean of UB’s School of Architecture and Planning, says the straight forward and authentic design of the building will help students have a clearer understanding of Hayes Hall’s architecture.

“We wanted an honest expression of the building. Architects don’t like to hide things behind dropped ceilings. All of the building systems are visible and serve as a teaching tool for students, not only for the systems, but also for the challenges of integrating modern systems into a building that is 150 years old,” Bruce stated.

The fourth floor of Hayes Hall has changed drastically from a storage attic with an unused lecture hall and a broken ventilation system. A new elevator was added that now services the fourth floor, replacing the old elevator, which had a rotary wheel control. “The longer you were here, the better you got at learning to stop the wheel at the right location to get the elevator aligned with the floor,” Bruce joked.

A look inside a technology cabinet at Hayes Hall.

Hayes Hall’s clocktower has been restored and is now visible from the top floor through the skylights. The clocktower tolls the hour and plays Westminster chimes on the quarter hour.  Bruce believes the restored clocktower is a statement of UB’s, and the city of Buffalo’s progress.

“It sends a message out to the public that the University is here, doing well, and they’re part of the community,” he said.

The renovations to Hayes Hall will further promote UB’s School of Architecture and Planning to be nationally recognized as one of the top public schools for Architecture and Planning.  “UB provides an option to get a high quality and valuable education at a good price,” Bruce said. “Just as the city is on the upswing, the school is on the upswing and we’re positioning ourselves well for the future.”

The Hayes Hall renovation project has faced many challenges over the last 4.5 years of construction, but the results were well worth it. “We’re thrilled with how it’s turned out. Hayes Hall is going to be one of the most technologically advanced buildings at this University, blending modern sensibilities against a historic backdrop,” Bruce said.

September 23, 2016 will mark the formal grand opening of Hayes Hall.