The long-awaited completion of the remodeling of Kalmanovitz Hall has finally arrived, relieving the previously cramped University Center building, creating new and exciting classroom space, and adding to the pleasing aesthetic of the USF campus.
The formerly named Campion Hall, which stands between the St. Ignatius Church and Cowell Hall, was built around 1926 and remodeled in the 1960s. The renovation was undertaken and the building renamed when the school received a ten million dollar grant from the Paul and Lydia Kalmanovitz Trust Foundation, a Bay Area philanthropy organization that funded the Kalmanovitz Library at the University of California at San Francisco and a school of education at St Mary’s College of California. The new building contains a 1,000 year old arch from the Hearst collection, a sculpture garden and an amphitheater. Mike London, vice president of Facilities Management, explained that the antique-like Hearst arch and the new amphitheater represent the old meeting the new. He also said that USF is a campus of only fifty-two acres and is “intensely used,” which is “all the more reason to modernize.”
Nearly all of the buildings on campus, including residence halls, were remodeled in the 1960s; London said USF experienced a building boom during that time and most buildings have not been remodeled or updated since that time. Although the Kalmanovitz Hall project began construction in April of 2006, the plans had been in the works for much longer. In general, the remodeling and updating of buildings is funded by grants given to the school, and students’ tuition is not used for this purpose. Thus, it will take time for the rest of the campus to be updated and remodeled.
The new building has eleven classrooms and faculty offices for the College of Arts and Sciences. The fifth floor of the University Center previously contained offices for the professors of the College of Arts and Sciences, but is being reevaluated and may be designated as a space for club and organization offices. The department of Modern and Classical Languages, which was located on the fourth floor of Gleeson Library, has now been moved to Kalmanovitz with the rest of the Arts and Sciences departments. The fourth floor of Gleeson will now be converted into a space for adjunct faculty, many of whom did not have any designated office last year.
Junior Ivana Rosas, who has her global economy class in Kalmanovitz, said although she didn’t know what the building looked like before the remodel, she likes how it looks now. She said, “The cobblestone is nice and the building has well functioning elevators.” Even though her class has approximately 40 students, she said the classroom has “plenty of space” and is very accommodating.
The renovation of the old Campion Hall was not the only summer construction project, but the most visible one. Several other projects included installing key swipe locks on the doors in Hayes Healy, Gillson and Lone Mountain, redoing the Hayes Healy kitchen, updating McClaren conference center, a new seating section in Memorial Gym, and new paint in five hundred rooms and new carpet in Pedro Arrupe and Loyola Village. London said the next two upcoming projects are the remodeling of Phelan Hall and a complete renovation of Harney Science Center, which will become the Center for Science and Innovation. This will be a three story science laboratory and provide student space for clubs. London said USF and our science programs need to “remain competitive” to attract students.