SHED construction nears homestretch

Significant progress expected this summer

A. Sue Weisler

The SHED is on track to open in fall 2023.

Construction on the Student Hall for Exploration and Development (the SHED) this summer will begin to move beyond the complex to the surrounding area. Work will focus on finishing the SHED exterior, connecting the SHED to Monroe Hall, and redoing the pedestrian thoroughfare between George Eastman Hall and Wallace Library, among many other details.

Summer construction

From steel beams added to the RIT skyline to new fencing to mark the start of projects, here’s a rundown of what you might see on campus this summer.

The expanded construction zone and removal of the pedestrian tunnel are essential to this next phase of the project, according to Mark Williams, principal project manager in RIT’s Facilities Management Services.

While the quarter mile is closed, metal and glass panels will be attached to Monroe Hall to enclose a second-floor music studio. The glass room will extend over a new eating area located in front of Artesano Bakery and Café. 

“The work right now is to focus on the building face along the quarter mile,” Williams said. “Then we need to tear up the asphalt walking surface and install new granite curbs, concrete walking surface, new planting beds, stairs, and ramps for the entrances to the SHED and Monroe Hall.”

The lower section of the Kodak Quad stairs will be rebuilt to align with the new surface grade.

Signage will guide pedestrians to the “southern quarter mile” behind the Student Alumni Union or through George Eastman Hall during regular business hours because “safety is paramount,” Williams said.

Monroe Hall will connect to the SHED on the first floor in front of Artesano Bakery and Café and the new Kosher Kitchen that will be built alongside it. A second-floor classroom in Student Services will be converted into a circulation path to create another tie-in to the SHED.

Steady progress continues on the interface between the SHED and Wallace Library, following the relocation last summer of library services and the circulation collection to Frank Ritter Ice Arena. Now, work within Wallace Library is focused on redoing the stair towers, installing new bathrooms, and installing two new elevators that connect the SHED and the library.

When students return in August, they will notice a difference in the SHED and the adjacent environ, Williams said.

“A substantial amount of work along the quarter mile will be done, but also the building envelope—all the exterior materials that are a work in progress—will be wrapping up. From the outside, the building will look the way it’s supposed to when it’s actually finished in 2023.”

RIT trustee and alumnus Austin McChord’s record $50 million gift to RIT in 2017 helped fund the complex that will redefine the campus. The SHED is intended to facilitate collaboration among students using the makerspaces, working on project teams, and participating in performing arts groups, and among those who use the makerspaces.

The building will house individual rehearsal spaces, a large dance instruction studio, and a music rehearsal studio. A black-box/glass-box theater seating 180 will be reconfigurable to control the light entering the facility. Together, the SHED and the renovated Wallace Library will add 27 new classrooms to the RIT campus, including 22 standard-size flexible classrooms in Wallace Library and five extra-large active learning classrooms in the SHED.

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