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K-State Today

July 11, 2011

K-State hammers away on summer construction projects, renovations

Submitted by Julie Fosberg

Many areas of the Kansas State University community are receiving a major facelift -- or a new face altogether -- through a variety of construction and renovation projects this summer.

Bruce Shubert, vice president for administration and finance, said the projects are in various stages of completion and are divided into two categories: Division of Facility projects that are under way or have recently been completed through the availability of deferred maintenance funds, federal stimulus funds and energy savings contracts; or large capital projects, which are completed using private, departmental, student supported or National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility funding.

Projects being handled by the Division of Facilities include:

* Updates to Willard Hall. Chemistry department space has been relocated so that several art studios could be moved from West Stadium to Willard. "It freed up enough space to basically consolidate the art department in Willard Hall," Shubert said.

* Memorial Stadium updates. Projects on both sides of Memorial Stadium are in various stages. Efforts are now being made to hire a designer and raise funds for the K-State Welcome Center on the east side of the stadium. Shubert said the Division of Facilities is making plans to stabilize the exterior of the stadium. During the first phase of the stadium project, stonework and windows will be addressed. A green -- or living -- roof will cover a large section of the seating areas on both sides of the stadium.

* Justin Hall addition. Beginning in June, Justin Hall embarked on a year-long construction project that will require making Lovers Lane a one-way street and temporarily closing the hall's main south entrance. When finished, the 13,180-square-foot addition will include space for student services, student collaborative workspace, administrative offices and two classrooms that will accommodate approximately 100 students each. Mark George, project manager for K-State facilities planning, said the building will be a model for sustainable design and will seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design new construction silver certification.

* Purple Masque Theater relocation. Because of the Welcome Center project, the Purple Masque Theater is being moved from East Stadium to West Stadium. Shubert said office space could be created in the updated west side of the stadium later on. "The goal is that both sides of the stadium would look alike from the outside," he said.

* Technology updates and extensive remodeling to 105 Umberger Hall. The largest general classroom lecture hall on campus, 105 Umberger had minimal space for students to spread out and no power outlets to plug in their laptops. When completed in October, the room's technological capabilities will include an overhead projector and Internet use. The room also is being reoriented and will feature three sections of seating facing the podium, handicap-accessible seating in the front and back, a new heating and cooling system, improved lighting and additional technology. Power also will be available at each seat for laptops. "What was a very poor learning environment will be a much improved learning environment," said Dale Rivett, associate director of facilities building maintenance and Umberger project consultant. "The room was designed with faculty member input, and the new layout and design have addressed 95 percent of their concerns."

* Wireless network upgrades. K-State President Kirk Schulz said that wireless network upgrades and additions have been completed all over campus. The university has added 232 new wireless access points in the last 12 months, boosting the total access points to 1,545 across campus. "As K-State continues to upgrade its wireless computing infrastructure, the short-term goal remains to have seamless wireless connectivity anywhere on campus," Schulz said.

Large-scale capital projects include:

* The expansion of the Peters Recreation Complex. The rec center is getting a cardio and weight room, running track addition, multi-activity gym, additional exercise rooms, an additional entrance and a lounge. Shubert said the rec center project is on track to be completed within a year from now.

* The basketball training facility, being built adjacent to Bramlage Coliseum. The project is on a similar time line as the rec center.

* The next phase of construction and renovation at the Jardine Apartment Complex. Major renovations are taking place in three buildings and three new buildings are also being constructed, each of which will include 20 apartments -- adding 47 bedrooms to K-State housing, said Mark Taussig, associate director of facility planning.

* Southeast Kansas Extension and Research facility. Currently, the research and extension functions are in separate buildings. Combining the facilities will provide for improved interaction between the programs and lower operating costs. The facility is currently in the design phase and will regionalize the areas of Parsons and Chanute.

* Expansion of the K-State Salina's Student Life Center. Shubert said although the facility has been open for only a year, it is currently undergoing a planned expansion to include a multipurpose room and locker space. "The facility has been a great addition to the Salina campus; it's been well-received. Before it was in place, students didn't have a user-friendly place for a recreation center, but this has been much more than that," he said.

* The Sheep and Meat Goat Facility. Taussig, facilities manager for the project, said construction is in the initial stages and should be completed by December. The new facility will be located north of Kimball Avenue on the west side of Denison Avenue, which is just north of the existing facilities, he said. It will include animal holding facilities, a large classroom, an animal treatment room and a 5,600 square-foot multipurpose room.

Schulz said campus infrastructure and deferred maintenance issues are frequent topics in the campus community as K-State works to become a top 50 public research university.

"We continue to work toward a formalized launch of K-State 2025," he said. "Over the past two years, we have made some significant progress on a variety of infrastructure issues on campus. Some of these projects are relatively small, and some are much more substantive."