Renovations on the Dow Conference Center began this week, kicking off a construction project that is expected to conclude in the fall of 2021.
Dow Hotel Director of Hospitality Aaron Tracey said in an email that the Dow A and B conference room, as well as conference rooms F and G, are being renovated.
“A and B is very outdated and does not match the aesthetics of Searle, Plaster, and other renovations at the Dow Center,” Tracey said. “Room G and Room F are in need of a renovation as well.”
Tracey said the renovations will not affect guests staying at the Dow Hotel, and the impact on students will be minimal. Guests, students, and faculty can expect noise from the construction site during the day as the project progresses.
The main consequences of construction is a temporary loss of three conference rooms while Dow A and B and conference rooms F and G are out of commission. However, Gillespie, Searle and other spaces are still available for conferences and events.
“We still do our best to host your event where possible,” Tracey said.
Improvements have been steadily made to the Dow for a number of years, but some areas remain untouched.
“Dow A and B were built in 1967, and when you walk in there, you feel like you’re in 1967,” Tracey said.
Plans for renovation are very grand, according to Tracey, particularly for Dow A and B. They include a glass ceiling to allow for natural light, a grand stairway on the north wall, a fireplace on the south wall, and banquet seating for 120 people, Tracey said.
Mark Bacci, project superintendent for the renovation, said the vision will not start to come together until April. For now, the crew is focused on demolition.
“We will begin setting new structural items in mid- to late April,” Bacci said. “At that point, you will be able to start seeing what the end product will look like.”