Fraser Hall is one of the older lecture halls at Western and one of the least accessible. Currently, if a student who uses a wheelchair or has some other disability registers for a class scheduled in Fraser, the whole class must be moved to another building to accommodate the needs of that student.
Fraser’s accessibility and interior will be completely renovated starting this winter quarter. The lecture hall is scheduled to reopen next fall quarter.
The renovations on Fraser Hall will cost $3.2 million and will be funded by the State Capital Fund. Included in the renovations will be the addition of two Americans with Disabilities Act exterior entryways and ramps, two ADA accessible bathrooms, and ADA entrances for the three lecture halls in Fraser.
“It’s always an ongoing process we’re doing in upgrading the buildings,” Assistant Director for Facilities Development Ed Simpson said. “It gives a lot more latitude to classroom scheduling to be able to offer courses in Fraser Hall.”
Aside from improving Fraser’s accessibility, the interior architecture and classroom setups will be modernized to fit the look and function of Western’s newer facilities. Simpson said that this will include installing energy efficient lighting, dispersed disabled seating throughout the classrooms, and the addition of new classroom mediation equipment such as DVD players and document cameras. To make Fraser Hall more energy efficient, the renovations will include upgrading the thermal performance of the walls as well as cleaning and sealing the exterior bricks.
Architect and Project Manager David Willett said that these renovations will get rid of the disruptions that occur when classes scheduled in Fraser have to be moved to accommodate student needs.
“Fraser is one of the largest lecture halls we have seating wise in the north end of campus so it plays a critical role in a number of courses that students need at the university to graduate,” Willett said.
The Fraser Hall renovation project is currently out for bid. Once the bids are received in November, the Board of Trustees will evaluate them and formally award a contract at their December meeting. Construction is estimated to begin after winter break.