Renewal projects to enhance campus; Refurbishing UB areas indoors and out could aid recruitment, retention efforts

News Services Associate Editor

University Facilities is planning a renovation of the ground floors of Capen, Talbert and Norton halls this summer that UB officials hope will aid the university's recruitment and retention efforts.

The work will involve the replacement of orange ceiling tiles, painting the areas, installation of carpeting and the purchase of new furnishings, "to get away from that old SUNY institutional approach," said Michael Dupre, interim associate vice president for university facilities. The project, which is expected to cost about $85,000, will include landscaping three plots of turf on the north side of Capen with trees, flowers and an elevated wall.

University Facilities also has set aside another $100,000 to install carpeting in centrally scheduled classrooms across campus. The Classroom Quality Committee is reviewing the proposal, Dupre said.

The renovation projects are part of what Dupre says will be an "annual investment" in a capital renewal program that is being funded with budget savings from the past few years. Funding for this year's projects totals $247,000, with the Capen-Talbert-Norton project being the biggest so far.

University Facilities already has completed some minor projects this year, Dupre pointed out, including the replacement of floor tiles in Lockwood Library and Parker Hall, installation of lighting fixtures in Parker and pain-ting of the interior bridge connecting O'Brian and Norton halls.

Dupre said renovation projects were identified when he and Vice Provost Sean Sullivan toured the facilities during Open House. Their discussion, he said, centered around what University Facilities could do with "some dollar flexibility" to address aesthetics and assist in recruitment and retention issues.

Peter Nickerson, professor of pathology and chair of the Faculty Senate, called the ongoing capital renewal program "an important initiative.

"It's good for the morale of everybody here. It's also good for anybody coming on campus," Nickerson said. "Clearly, recruitment, in addition to retention, is absolutely essential for us to survive."

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