HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday morning for renovations of the University of Hawaii Manoa's Gartley Hall, which was abruptly closed nearly three years ago because of structural damage.
Built in 1921, Gartley is one of oldest buildings in what's called the "old quadrangle" on the UH Manoa campus. In late 2009, it was evacuated because of health and safety concerns because it was not structurally sound.
Originally designed as a laboratory facility for chemistry, physical and sugar technology, the building will be renovated to become the future home of the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work.
The UH is spending $12.5 million in upgrades on the building to improve the building's interior while preserving its historical façade. The construction work is scheduled to be finished in August of 2013.
"Because of the historic nature, we have to keep all the exterior facades. And basically, the old interior, floor, slabs, including the roof and columns, everything will be demolished," said architect Louis Fung, whose firm Fung Associates is handling the architectural design of the project.