By Carin Holmes
The DeFrancesco Building is under construction as the two-year renovation and upgrade project begins.
Construction on the DeFrancesco Building began in August and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023. Upon completion of the renovations and upgrades, the building will be the home of KU’s College of Business.
Included in the upgrades of the building are improvements for the College of Business and their needs, says Interim Director of Facilities Project Services Bill Leech. The renovation will allow the centralization of the currently “scattered” College as well as creating computer labs and an “active learning lab,” which Leech says will be similar to that of Room 106 in Rickenbach.
There will also be a large addition built on the southern side of the building that will include a porch. In addition, an ADA-accessible entrance will be added to the eastern side of the building.
“I have heard that a lot of business students are excited for the renovations,” says Makayla Roccia, a Student Government Board Representative for the College of Business. She adds that some are sad that they will be graduating before the upgrades are complete.
Roccia says that students had some input in the discussion of the upgrades in terms of professional development. She thinks that the upgrades will allow students to have a more professional approach to the work world with meeting rooms and the other technology being provided.
In addition to the upgrades, there is also what Leech refers to as a “life-cycle renovation.” These renovations include HVAC, electrical and lighting improvements as well as asbestos abatement. The renovations of the DeFrancesco Building will also include creating a large central restroom in place of the current small restrooms.
The blockage of the walkway between Lytle Hall and Beekey Education Center will be in place until the end of construction in 2023. Leech says that this temporary construction road is necessary for construction transportation to the DeFrancesco Building in order to prevent any safety issues.
More information about the renovation can be found on the DeFrancesco Renovation website.