Remodeling the north wing of Lagomarcino Hall. Conceptual rendering of the courtyard view from the primary entry lobby by Haila Architecture Structure Planning.
Remodeling the north wing of Lagomarcino Hall. Conceptual rendering of the courtyard view from the primary entry lobby by Haila Architecture Structure Planning.

School of Education leaders look to Lagomarcino remodel to improve visibility

Leaders of the Iowa State University School of Education see the upcoming remodeling of Lagomarcino Hall as a way to make the school more visible and reflect its distinct identity.

“We’re creating signature aspects of our program and we want to highlight them with the remodel,” said Ralph Reynolds, director of the School of Education. “At one end of the remodel will be our STEM area. At the other end of the remodel on the first floor will be our literacy area.”

Construction on the $3.725 million renovation to the north wing of the 1954 brick building that once housed veterinary medicine is scheduled to begin in August. It will last for about a year. Plans call for opening the newly remodeled school in fall 2014.

lago1“A big part of the project is a new visual identity, a place of arrival for visitors where they can come in and be in the center of the school,” said project manager Robert Holzwarth, an architect in Iowa State facilities planning and management.

Temporary move during construction

Faculty and leaders of the School of Education say their programs lost some visibility when the former College of Education became part of the College of Human Sciences in 2005. The remodeling of Lagomarcino comes a year after formation of the School of Education on July 1, 2012.

Forty professors and more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students will be displaced during the renovation. While administrators are trying to keep methods classes in Lagomarcino, many education students will take classes in buildings around campus for the next two semesters. Academic advisers and some staff will move to MacKay and LeBaron halls.

“I’m sorry, but progress always comes at some sort of cost,” Reynolds said. “Sometimes that cost is monetary. Sometimes that cost is convenience. But we intend to do our very best to make sure our students are inconvenienced as little as possible.”

The vision for the project came from a year’s worth of discussions and feedback. The School of Education implementation subcommittee spoke with architects and surveyed professors and graduate students. Survey results showed a desire for better meeting and work spaces, a more open and welcoming space, a student lounge, and a more centralized advising and office area.

lago4More glass, an open atrium

Visitors to the newly remodeled Lagomarcino will see a more centrally located entrance on the north side of the building, facing Pammel Drive. They’ll notice an open-air feeling with much more glass than the existing building, an open atrium, and a window looking out to the courtyard. Plans call for more spaces for collaboration, and a more central location for administration.

One wall will feature a blackboard representing traditional education, while the opposite wall will represent high technology – to symbolically show the transition to the more modern aspects of education.

Des Moines-based artists Rebecca Ekstrand and Tom Rosborough, who previously did work on the University of Iowa campus, are working to integrate art into the Lagomarcino renovation, as is required in state buildings.

“This central location will be our main focus with possibilities of cast stone being utilized around the windows, interior columns, and seating,” Rosborough said. “Imagery on glass could be used that will be located in the atrium area, railing, and down the hallways branching out from the entrance. Metalwork found in the entrance railing and maybe the third floor railing are also possibilities.”

lago3Wish list even larger

Money for the project came from fundraising by College of Human Sciences Dean Pamela White and Reynolds, along with a $400,000 grant from the provost’s office.

School of Education administrators say if they can secure more money, that would open up even more possibilities such as creating a new entry for the south side of the building, or having a special area devoted to the social contexts of education.

Administrators will meet Feb. 21 with architects from Ames-based Haila Architecture Structure Planning and will receive updated construction cost estimates for the project.

“There’s always a compromise between project needs and project desires,” Holzwarth said. “You don’t want to build a brand new space and then wind up putting old furniture back in it.”

Any increase in the project’s budget would require approval from the Iowa Board of Regents. Holzwarth said the budget for the project has increased twice over the past year, from $1.6 million to $2.9 million to $3.725 million.

Reynolds said he’s excited about the upcoming remodel. He said the School of Education plans to have a major event to mark the re-opening of the building in fall 2014. Alumni, donors, teachers, students, and government officials will be invited to that celebration.

“This is a big deal,” he said. “It’s going to be a good thing for our school. It’s going to be a good thing for our students and our faculty.”

Contacts:

John Schuh, director, School of Education, 294-2336, jschuh@iastate.edu (Former director: Ralph Reynolds, 515-294-3265, ralphr@iastate.edu)

Chuck Achter, assistant director, School of Education, 515-294-7937, cachter@iastate.edu

Robert Holzwarth, project manager, architect, Iowa State facilities planning and management, 515-294-4193, rholzwar@iastate.edu

Lynn Campbell, communications specialist, College of Human Sciences, 515-294-3689, lynnc@iastate.edu

  • Quick Look

    Construction on the $3.725 million renovation to the north wing of Lagomarcino Hall is scheduled to begin in August and will take about a year. Forty professors and more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students will be displaced. School administrators see the renovation as a way to make the school more visible and reflect its distinct identity.


  • “We’re creating signature aspects of our program and we want to highlight them with the remodel. At one end of the remodel will be our STEM area. At the other end of the remodel on the first floor will be our literacy area.”

    Ralph Reynolds