Construction on two new student apartments is scheduled to begin this semester and should be completed by August 2009, the College recently announced via mass e-mail.
In addition to the two new student apartments, the College announced four other projects for Spring 2008, including construction of the new Art and Interactive Multimedia building, several renovations to Brower Student Center and the replacement of Packer Hall’s roof.
These projects, listed in an e-mail sent to the College’s community on Jan. 21, are part of the 15-year Master Building Plan, according to William Rudeau, director of Construction.
According to Matt Golden, director of Communications and Media Relations, and Curt Heuring, vice president of Facilities Management, Construction and Campus Safety, the cost of the six projects will be approximately $75 million.
Rudeau said the contract for the new apartments was awarded to Thomas P. Carney, Inc., of Langhorne, Pa. According to the College’s e-mail, the apartments are being constructed across from Lot 3 to Lot 6 and should be completed in August 2009.
Despite a previous attempt to construct student apartments that was abandoned in November 2004, Golden said concerns are now at a minimum.
“We have the same concerns as we would for any major construction project,” he said. “We have mitigated many of the major risks and have a talented team managing the project as well as an experienced architect and a well-regarded and capable contractor. We anticipate a very successful project.”
Once completed, Golden said the apartments may temporarily be used as a “housing swing space” to allow for the renovation of other residence halls. The apartments will then be used to house upperclassmen.
Construction on the new Art and Interactive Multimedia building is scheduled to begin in April and be completed by December 2009. It will be located between Brower Student Center and Loser Hall.
According to Golden, the building is one of the last projects from the 1999 Campus Conceptual Facilities Master Plan Framework. It is designed to replace Holman Hall as the location of the art department.
“Holman Hall no longer satisfies the needs of the art program,” Golden said. “In addition, Holman Hall is reaching the end of its useful life. Over the next several years, major building systems would need to be repaired or replaced to keep the building functional. Instead, the College has decided it makes much more sense to build a new, modern facility to meet the needs of Art and Interactive Multimedia.”
In order to accommodate the 70,000 square foot building, Rudeau said changes to Lot 2A and the sidewalks will have to be made.
“Until the final sidewalks are in place, temporary walks will be installed to maintain the normal paths of travel as best as possible,” he said.
Two projects are scheduled to begin in the student center. Revolving doors will replace the two sets of sliding doors in March and should be completely installed by April.
“The revolving doors will save energy costs by minimizing the heat loss from both sliding doors being open at the same time, as is the case now,” Rudeau said. “Students will be encouraged to use the revolving doors more than the double set of doors to the side of the revolving doors once the installation is completed.”
The terrace surrounding the student center will also undergo renovation in March and is expected to be finished in May. Golden said funding for the replacement of the building’s roof is included within the College’s asset renewal plan as well.
During the course of the semester, the roof of Packer Hall will be replaced. Golden said the project has presented challenges, as the building will continue to be occupied during that time. He also said there will be some degree of impact on the College’s environment, particularly “added noise, construction workers and demolition debris that facility users will encounter.”
In addition to the major projects scheduled for the semester, the College will be rebuilding the manholes and replacing the manhole covers where steam stacks currently stand.
According to Rudeau, once the project is completed, the steam stacks will be removed and steam will no longer escape from the manholes.