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First Phase of Major Renovation Complete at UC Blue Ash College

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Historic Muntz Hall is taking on a new look with the completion of phase one in a comprehensive renovation of the 51-year-old flagship building on the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College campus.

Muntz Hall was the only building on the campus when the college opened in 1967. The original structure was expanded in 1974 to reach its current 172,000 square foot footprint, and there have been many, minor renovations over the years. However, the building has not been updated in any significant way over the past half-century. This major renovation project, led by UC’s Planning Design and Construction (PDC) Office, will rely on state funding for completion. It could include up to six phases if full funding is approved.

Muntz Hall 3rd Floor hallway

New bench seating has been added to hallways, complete with charging stations for phones and laptops.

Phase one was a $3.7 million project that covered half of the third floor in the three-story building. It features 14 bright new classrooms that include plenty of natural light as well as modern audio and visual systems designed for teaching and learning. The classrooms also feature new seating and white boards that replace the old chalkboards. There are two new conference rooms, three digital signage locations, and several new spaces where students can study or relax while also charging their phone or laptop.

“Students get a fresh start for formal learning in the new classrooms and informal learning in the new gathering spaces,” says Beth McGrew, senior associate vice president and university architect for UC. “The faculty have new tools to use while teaching and guiding. While space is just one part of the experience on the Blue Ash campus, there is now much better space in which to expand your mind and try on new ideas.”

The first phase also included the replacement of some mechanical/electrical infrastructure equipment, most of which date back to the opening of the building. The renovation will increase efficiency in heating and cooling the building thanks to new insulation along the entire perimeter brick walls and new geothermal wells that were constructed on the UC Blue Ash campus in 2017.

“We are excited to partner with UC PDC on the first geothermal installation in the history of UC campuses, says Rob Knarr, director of facilities at UC Blue Ash. “The new system will provide year-round heating and cooling for the renovated second and third floors within the original Muntz Hall building. It should save approximately 25-30% in energy costs compared to a more conventional HVAC system.”

Phase two of the renovation project will cover the other half of the third floor of Muntz Hall. Demolition work is already underway and this phase should be complete by May 2019.

Enjoy this gallery of all of the latest Muntz Hall changes!

Phase 1 1st Half of Muntz 3rd Floor Complete

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