A construction project underway at Watkins Hall will replace the building’s ventilation system and renovate the main lecture hall.
The improvements will provide some needed upgrades to the building, one of the oldest on campus, said Tameesha Hayes, a project manager with the Office of Planning, Design, and Construction.
A major element of the project is the installation of a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system that is expected to improve conditions for students and faculty members who use the building.
The renovations to the lecture hall, the largest room in the building, will improve accessibility by creating more aisle space for students who use wheelchairs. Companion seating and a chair lift for wheelchairs are also being added.
The room is also getting a fresh coat of paint, new tile flooring, and new lighting in the lecture area and the foyer. New storefront doors will be added to the foyer while the floor and ceiling in that section will be replaced.
Construction began at the beginning of the fall quarter and is expected to be completed by mid-December.
“When you walk in the space, it will definitely have a different feel,” Hayes said.
Watkins is among the first five buildings built when UC Riverside opened in 1954. Earlier this year, a new elevator was installed in the building as part of another modernization project.