While most of the student body was away for the summer, University Facilities was working on several projects that have made visible changes on campus.
“These were things that really needed to be worked on and I’m always for improvement,” said Shanda Hendricks, front end supervisor for the Memorial Union bookstore.
The most noticeable of the more than six projects was the resurfacing and repair of Kellogg Circle in front of Plumb Hall.
The project was started several weeks before classes ended last spring and will continue until mid-September due to rain delays.
“We are nearly complete with the street part of the project,” said Mark Runge, director of facilities. “We started the project about three weeks before school ended last year because we knew we would be in a time crunch.”
Throughout the summer, Runge said that the contractors lost nearly 15 days due to excessive rain.
“If (the weather) had been more cooperative, we probably would have been done,” Runge said.
The project, which will end up totaling about $250,000, has been in the works for the last 5-6 years, Runge said. Kellogg Circle will be complete after the sidewalk around it and new light fixtures, similar to the lantern shaped ones used downtown, are added.
“If it all works out, we’re hoping in three to four weeks, we’ll have those sidewalks all finished,” Runge said. “The lights we had in Kellogg Circle weren’t very bright so we’re also adding new lights to the sidewalks.”
“The improvements that they’ve already made look good,” Hendricks said.
A much larger task Facilities undertook was the remodeling of the library which totaled about $2 million. The final inspections for the library were made on Monday and Runge expects everything to be moved back into the library by September.
“We completely gutted the second floor and redesigned the spaces and areas for the library services departments,” Runge said.
A better emergency exit, costing about $150,000, will also be added to West side of the library.
Building signs will be placed near every building to help newcomers find their way around campus. Runge said that a few signs still have to be put up but he thinks that they will be a big help to people on campus.
“I’m new on campus this year,” said Abdul Hamid Maassarami. “(The signs) have been helpful for me. When I had to be in Plumb Hall, I just followed the signs.”
Another project that Facilities completed was repairing the foundation underneath Roosevelt Hall, which cost the University nearly $175,000, Runge said. Unsettling and shifting in the foundation were making cracks on the interior of the building.
“We got tired of patching the cracks,” Runge said. “We had people come in and take a look at the structure. They recommended us on what action to take.”
Among other things, Morse Drive was resurfaced and repainted, HVAC systems were replaced in several buildings, a new drainage system was added to the pool and King Hall got a new electrical distribution center.
“We had a lot of work,” Runge said. “It was probably more than average but there have been other times when we were busier.”
Projects that students will see in the future will be the replacement of water lines that are more than 60 years old, a new roof for the science hall and several projects that will be funded by federal stimulus money.
The stimulus money distributed must be used for certain projects, including plans that will increase energy efficiency. These projects are fully funded by the stimulus money and will be audited at the end the year. Three jobs, including new fume hoods in science hall, new double paned insulated windows across campus and new light fixtures will total nearly $1.2 million, Runge said.
“(The stimulus money) was a blessing,” Runge said. “We got some projects getting done here that it would take a while to do if we didn’t (have the money).”
Ashley Peaches/The Bulletin