Westerman Hall Construction Update - Summer 2017

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017

South view, extension

More than a year of renovation and new construction has passed as the largest capital project in the history of Benedictine College makes large strides toward completion.

When it is complete, Benedictine College will have the finest science and engineering building of any small college in the United States.

The project includes a renovation of the 60,000 square foot existing science building and a 40,000 square foot addition.

A blessed Medal of St. Benedict was placed in the new foundation in front of a large gathering of students, faculty and staff on Study Day, May 3. With that longstanding tradition, the building joined all other buildings on campus with a St. Benedict Medal encased in the foundation.

The expansion to the south of the existing building has been framed, roofed and substantially enclosed. The electrical supply has been switched over to the new source and plumbing and electrical work continues. Other work on the interior and the façade will continue through the summer and into the fall.

Westerman Hall is currently empty for the summer, allowing interior work to be done. When students and faculty return for the start of the new academic year, the façade on the Academic Quad should be substantially completed and will look completely different.

The entryways on either end of the building will be gone and a new center entrance will be available. The building will match the surrounding facilities, with peaked dormers on the roof and brick and limestone exteriors. The main jackhammering work will be complete, but there will still be some construction noise, primarily to the south. The auditorium will be complete and back in use and a new engineering shop will be finished.

Heading into the Spring 2018 semester, the 40,000 square-foot addition will be complete, allowing for the use of science and engineering labs in that area. There will also be a new greenhouse and the first floor of Westerman Hall will be finished and available for complete use. The Benedictine College Board of Directors has voted to move forward with Phase II of the project, which includes the renovation of the second, third and fourth floors of Westerman. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2019.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.