By Kaileigh Blaker
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Camden County College administrators plan to begin renovations on Lincoln Hall this month and intend to renovate Papiano Gymnasium after that.
Renovations on Lincoln Hall, which was built in 1954, are anticipated to begin in mid-October and will be conducted in five phases, Executive Director of Financial Administrative Services Maris Kukainis said last Tuesday. The reason for the renovations is the building is outdated and old.
“The renovations were originally supposed to start on Oct. 7 but we are still under the review and negotiation with the contractor and are waiting for any comments that need to be incorporated,” said Project Manager John Bond.
The renovations will continue through 2020 with the bulk of them to be finished by next summer but the last phase will finish in early fall of 2020. The college will do the renovations in stages, rather than all at once, so students and faculty members can still use the building during the process.
“One of the main reasons of the renovation is to help bring it up to today’s standards and so that we can attract students and also provide the necessary equipment or rooms to help them compete with other colleges as well, so that they can get the same type of learning experience,” said Bond.
The renovations will include work on the interior of the building. Among the most significant renovations will be those to the theater workshop, prop and costume storage areas, studios, a small theater, the classrooms, office spaces and bathrooms. A concession stand, a new air conditioning system and a new heating system will be installed and the building will be made handicapped accessible.
The exterior of the building will remain as is, except for the installation of new windows in the back of the building.
The estimated cost of the renovations is $6 million in state and county funding, said Kukainis.
“We are very excited about this renovation in so many different ways,” said Kukainis.
The renovation of Lincoln Hall is one of many projects in the college’s master plan. The master plan dates back to 2001 and is updated over time to reflect the college’s academic mission and to provide programming for the students.
Over the last few years in the master plan, the college has undergone $83 million in renovations to many of its buildings, including converting Taft Hall into a student services center in 2016.
Next, the college plans on renovating Papiano Gymnasium at an estimated cost of $5 million in state and county funding. The project does not have a start date. Administrators will start by securing an architect for the renovations and working with members of the college community to launch the project.