Renovations completed at Cushwa, DeBartolo halls

Cushwa Hall renovations

Gordon Frissora, associate professor of Criminal Justice, and his wife, Kate, unpack boxes in Frissora’s renovated office in Cushwa Hall. Faculty and staff offices in Cushwa and DeBartolo halls were upgraded over the summer.

Gordon Frissora strolled down the hallway on the second floor of Cushwa Hall toward his newly renovated office, not knowing quite what to expect.

“My initial reaction?” Frissora, associate professor of Criminal Justice, said after unlocking the door and walking in.


Frissora’s Room 2083 is one of dozens of faculty and staff offices in Cushwa and DeBartolo halls that were painted, carpeted and spruced up as part of $3.5 million in interior renovations this summer. In addition, corridors, public spaces, mechanical equipment and lighting were upgraded in the buildings. A second phase of improvements in DeBartolo will take place next summer.

“We had a tremendous amount of work to do in both of the buildings in a very short period of time over the summer,” said John Hyden, executive director of Facilities. “I want to thank faculty and staff for their patience. I think the finished project is well worth the inconvenience.”

Cushwa atrium

The ceiling of the renovated Cushwa atrium.

The DeBartolo and Cushwa upgrade was the largest of several summer improvement projects across campus. Also this summer: extensive repair and replacement of broken walkways, steps and driveways; repairs to sections of the utility tunnel under Kilcawley Center loading dock; renovations to the 6th and 7th floors of Kilcawley House residence hall; campus roof renovations; and a new, 180-space parking lot west of Fifth Avenue.

In addition, the new Farmers National Bank Field on Fifth Avenue across from Stambaugh Stadium is nearing completion. The field is the new home to the YSU women’s soccer team, which kicks off the 2013 home season on Aug. 30.

In Cushwa and DeBartolo, the last few days leading up to the start of the semester were filled with faculty and staff moving back into offices and work spaces – like Susan Lisko, associate professor of Nursing.

“I think it’s great,” said Lisko, clad to her elbows in purple rubber gloves as she used Clorox wipes to clean some equipment in her office on Cushwa’s third floor. Lisko said it’s nice to see improvements to the 1970s era interior designs of the building. “Into the 21st century,” she said.

Frissora and his wife, Kate, spent six days last spring packing up 60 boxes that were put into storage during the renovations. Over the summer, Frissora – who has been in the same 10-foot by 10-foot office since joining the YSU faculty in 1996 – used whatever space he could for an office, including holding some office hours at Wendy’s in Kilcawley Center.

The Frissoras spent a good chunk of the week before the start of the semester unloading the boxes again, including re-stacking more than 300 books on office shelves. “You know what they say about a Ph.D?,” he joked. “Pile your books Higher and Deeper.”