Renovation preserves historic integrity, expands accessibility at Roosevelt Hall

Roosevelt Hall, one of the neoclassical-style classroom and office buildings that make up the historic core of Chapman University’s Orange campus, is undergoing a complete renovation this semester.

To learn how the University is renewing this historic structure once part of the old Orange Union High School campus, we checked in with Kris Eric Olsen, vice president of campus planning and operations.

Why does Roosevelt Hall need renovation?

KO: “To modernize the building to the latest fire, seismic, accessibility and life/safety codes. That is not to say the building was not in compliance; it did meet current requirements based on a building of its age, type and historical status. What we are doing is bringing the building systems into the 21stcentury while maintaining its historic integrity.”

orange high school

Roosevelt Hall, center, was formerly called Founders Hall. It was rededicated in 1994 to honor James Roosevelt, son of President Franklin Roosevelt, and a Chapman University life trustee.

What aspects of the building are being renovated?

KO: “The entire building. This includes the addition of a new interior elevator. The building will be 100 percent accessible when the renovation project is complete.”

How will these renovations affect the students?

KO: “The building will contain the exact same programs and functions as before, however in a totally renovated facility.”

Roosevelt Hall was built after Reeves Hall and Smith Hall, so why is it being renovated before the others?

KO: They are all in similar physical condition and the status of the building systems are the same. We considered myriad factors, and Roosevelt ended up being the best candidate to be renovated first.

How much will it cost?

KO: $5.2 million.

What is the timeline for the renovation?

KO: Projected completion date is August 2016. Meanwhile, most of the occupants will be temporarily located in the 303 West Palm building, also known as The Becket Building.

Dawn Bonker

Add comment

Your Header Sidebar area is currently empty. Hurry up and add some widgets.