Stokes Hall Nears Completion As Opening Date Approaches

The top floors of Stokes Hall are currently being outfitted with carpet and wood molding, and the project remains on schedule for completion around Halloween and an official opening in January, construction managers have said.

Stokes Hall will be a 183,000-square foot academic and administrative building when it is finished in October, with 36 classrooms ranging in size from 20-person rooms to an 80-person mini-amphitheater classroom.

In addition, the building will house offices for the theology, history, English, classics, and philosophy departments, as well as the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. The offices for First Year Experience will be moved from their current location in Brock House to Stokes Hall, and the building will also house the Academic Advising Center.

“The current focus is on everything,” said senior project manager Mark Lootz. “It all comes together around this time.”

Currently, the project is proceeding at 175 man-hours per day, with a variety of projects being finished. As masonry around the outside of the building is finished, scaffolding will come down and the completed exterior of the building will be visible. Progress has been made faster on the north building, mainly because it is smaller, managers have said.

The top floors of the building have also received more focus, as construction has proceeded in a top-down fashion. Offices on the third and fourth floors are being carpeted this week, and the walls have been painted and trimmed. On the lower floors, blackboards and white boards have been installed in every classroom, and the installation of the new Chocolate Bar has begun.

“We usually work from the top down,” Lootz said. “It’s less of a mess that way, and less people track stuff onto the completed floors.”

On the exterior of the building, construction has begun on a terraced grassy amphitheater between Stokes Hall and McElroy Hall. Retaining walls are currently being installed, and the area will also have a stone patio.

On the east side of the building, between Stokes Hall and Fulton Hall, will be a grassy area with pedestrian walkways roughly the same size as O’Neill Plaza.
Main student entrances will be along College Road, for students approaching from Upper Campus, and facing Fulton Hall, for students approaching from Lower and Middle Campuses, Kootz said.

The construction of Stokes Hall represents one of the largest commitments to the liberal arts made by an American university in the last decade.

“Stokes Hall embodies this University’s enduring commitment to the liberal arts,” said David Quigley, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, when ground was broken on the Stokes Hall project in October 2010. “The Jesuit, Catholic tradition of higher education has emphasized for centuries the civilizing and liberating power of an education rooted in the humanities disciplines that will call Stokes home.”

Stokes Hall is named in honor of the generosity shown by Patrick T. Stokes, trustee, former CEO of Anheuser-Busch, and BC ’64. The building will be officially dedicated and opened at a ceremony in January.


September 28, 2012