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Haverhill’s Spurk Building Ready for Major Renovation

Submitted by on July 6, 2016 – 6:13 pm
Northern_Essex_Community_College_Stairwell_Rendering.jpg print.jpg Web

Architect’s rendering of the renovated lobby of the Spurk Building on NECC’s Haverhill Campus

The Spurk Building, usually a hub of activity on Northern Essex Community College’s Haverhill Campus, is now eerily quiet and it’s not just because it’s summer.

The 89,000 square foot building, which is almost 50 years old, is about to go through a much-needed $15.2 million renovation.  Its 33 classrooms and 54 faculty offices have been emptied to prepare for the year-long construction project which started on July 5.  When completed, the results will include improved safety features, upgraded air quality, renovated restrooms, and major improvements to Lecture Hall A and the Hawrylciw Theater, which is where the college’s Top Notch Players perform.

Classrooms and Offices have Been Relocated

Since the Spurk Building is so well used, taking it off-line for a year is no easy task.

“The college had to be resourceful in finding space to relocate the displaced faculty and staff and in creating classrooms to accommodate students for the coming fall and spring semesters,” said Michael Pierce, the college’s interim director of administration.

Close to 17,000 square feet of new “swing” space has been created to accommodate relocated offices and classrooms, including eight classrooms in the lower floor of Opportunity Works, which is adjacent to the campus; seven new classrooms in the B and E buildings; and two additional classrooms in the Library and Student Center.

Some academic courses offered in Haverhill, including ESL, Criminal Justice, Human Services, and Deaf Studies, will be moved to Lawrence temporarily.

Website will Provide Up-to-date Information

Faculty and staff are now adjusting to new offices, and, in the fall, students will be introduced to campus life without the Spurk building.

The administration is taking several steps to make this as easy as possible for students.  A new shuttle bus has been purchased and, in the fall, the shuttle service will be expanded to include more frequent trips between the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses and an additional stop at Opportunity Works.

The college has also been actively promoting the renovation, directing those interested to a Spurk Renovation website which provides the most update to date information on the renovation including office and department relocations.

End Results will be Worth It

Bill Heineman, vice president of academic and student affairs, recognizes that this project will cause disruption for faculty, staff, and students in the short term, and he’s confident the end results will be well worth the inconvenience.

“When these renovations are completed, we will have new space that will dramatically improve the teaching and learning experience for our faculty and staff.”

State is Providing Funding and Overseeing the Project

The renovation is anticipated to cost $15.2 million and funding was received from a 2008 capital bond ($7.1 million) and deferred maintenance funding ($8.1 million) from the state’s Division of Capital Asset and Management and Maintenance (DCAMM).

DCAMM is overseeing the project and they have hired GVW Inc. of East Boston as contractor.

Spurk Building is Almost 50 Years Old

The Spurk Building was constructed in 1971 as part of the college’s first permanent campus which also included the library, the E and B Buildings, the Student Center, and The Sport and Fitness Center.  In the early 1990’s, it was named in memory of Dr. John Spurk, formerly of Haverhill, a professor of history & government at Northern Essex for 24 years until his retirement in 1991.  Dr. Spurk died in December of 1991.  He was a respected and well-loved member of the college community who played a key role in the development of the college. Each year the Dr. John Spurk Memorial Scholarship is presented to a Liberal Arts major who resides in the Merrimack Valley region and is involved in Community Leadership/Service.

For more information, visit the Spurk Renovation website.