May 16, 2013 12:00AM
Late last week, hundreds of Pitt State students moved out of their rooms in Dellinger Hall. By Monday, construction fencing was up, part of a street was closed and workers were busy on a major renovation of the university’s largest residence hall.
With the exit of the students, the clock began ticking, according to Lindell Haverstic, project architect in PSU’s Office of Facilities Planning.
“Work started on May 13 and is scheduled to be done on Aug. 9,” Haverstic said.
It is an ambitious project with a tight deadline because Move-In Day for the fall semester is Aug. 17 and classes begin on Aug. 19.
The Dellinger Hall renovation is the largest piece of a multi-year residence hall improvement plan at PSU. When it is complete, every residence hall room on campus will have been remodeled. Previously, the university completed renovations of Bowen, Tanner, Trout and Trout Annex. Each was done over the summer months. After Dellinger Hall, the only residence halls still to be renovated will be Nation and Mitchell Annex. That work is slated for the summer of 2014.
Dellinger Hall is larger than any of the residence halls previously renovated and the scope of the project is more extensive. In the weeks ahead, workers will replace finishes in student rooms, corridors, lounges and stairs. They will renovate and expand bathrooms, add a new lounge, office and laundry. They will install new mechanical systems and switchgear, new windows and a sprinkler system.
The cost of the project is just under $5 million and is being paid for by bonds. The construction manager is J.E. Dunn.
Dellinger Hall was built in 1966 at a cost of $1.5 million. It was named in honor of Oris Polk Dellinger, former head of the Biology Department and dean of the college and graduate school. Dellinger played a key role in the university’s struggle to separate itself from the State Normal School in Emporia. The Kansas Board of Regents offered Dellinger the presidency of the Manual Training Normal School in Hays if he would abandon Principal Russ in the highly politicized battle for independence, but he declined. Dellinger served PSU, known in the early years as the State Manual Normal Training School, from 1909 until 1947. After his retirement from the university, he served several terms in the Kansas Senate. Dellinger died in 1957.