Hertz Hall demolition and construction of new Health and Science Building


Jack Lambert

The demolition of Hertz hall will begin in the winter.

Jack Belcher, Senior News Reporter

Hertz Hall, originally constructed as a music building, is set to be demolished to build a new health science building. The 55-year-old building currently houses student support functions and is scheduled to be demolished sometime in the winter of 2019.

“The needs of the [health science] department are enormous.”  said Vincent Nethery, professor of physiology and exercise science. “Health science has somewhere in the vicinity of 600 [people in the] majors, and as a department of that size it has no home on the campus. We use probably eight or so different buildings.”

Being in eight different buildings can be a problem for the science department, which was made apparent to the Chief of Staff Linda Schactler when the department told her a story about when they had to conduct a study on blood.

“They drew the blood in one building, and then they had to run it over to the next building because the lab wasn’t in the place where they took the blood,” Schactler said. “So just consolidating programs improves the program, not just for convenience but really for the quality of research and education that they will be able to provide.”

According to Ethan Bergman, a food-science and nutrition professor, the new health and science building is going to have accommodations for many things that the department might need.

It will include a simulation room, which will allow for students to practice emergency situations. There is also going to be more space for exercise science and clinical physiology students, a better cadaver lab and a quality venue for producing better food that could be served to students.

According to Nethery, a project of this size has three main phases.

Phase one is a pre-design phase, where some critical elements are put down and general concepts are put in place. Phase two is a detail design phase, which details the design of the project, at the end of this phase the project comes off with the construction documents. Phase three is when actual construction on the building finally starts.  

If everything goes right from this point on, Nethery believes that the project will be done sometime between January and June of 2021. Half of the construction for the building has been paid for in the last state capital budget, which gave the university a total of $33 million. $23 million of that money will go to the new project, and according to Schatler, the next capital budget request cycle will be this fall.