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K-State Today

March 28, 2012

Monthly letter to campus from President Schulz

Submitted by Kirk Schulz

President Kirk Schulz

Dear K-State Faculty, Staff and Students,

I love Kansas in the spring – which I think is one of the times during the year when we live in the most beautiful area of the country. On my drive from Manhattan to Kansas City several times per month, I am reminded of the beauty of the Flint Hills – and reflect once again how fortunate I am to be at Kansas State.

As we finish this academic year in the next six weeks, we will have several key communications coming from the senior administration through K-State Today. We will keep you posted on budgetary items – including the higher education budget picture emerging from the Kansas Legislature and our tuition and fees proposals. Additionally, we continue to make progress on college-level strategic plans as part of our 2025 planning process. Our university master plan update is fully under way, and we will send an additional update on our progress toward many of the items outlined two years ago by the Research Infrastructure Task Force. If anyone has questions about any of these items at any time, please do not hesitate to send me an email.

In addition to all of these planning initiatives, we continue to make significant strides toward updating and improving our campus infrastructure. Many of these projects are not glamorous – and may never make it into our campus viewbook – but nonetheless are important upgrades to improve our environment for teaching, learning and scholarship. I would note that these are not all of the projects we have completed this past year but are some highlights to illustrate progress on our campus physical plant:

Sheep and Meat Goat Center. This $2 million project will result in an enhanced sheep and meat goat teaching and research facility just north of the current Sheep Unit. The project is being funded by a combination of restricted fees and private gifts.

Justin Hall Addition. This $5.22 million project constructs a 16,000 square foot addition to Justin Hall for the College of Human Ecology. The entire project is being funded from private gifts.

Campus Command Control Center. Unutilized space in Dykstra Hall (Facilities) was transformed into a state-of-the-art command center for the campus which houses comprehensive monitoring of campus fire, security, energy, and control systems on eight dashboards. Additionally, HVAC/control technicians will have the ability to monitor our campus using cutting-edge technology on four panels loaded with Honeywell componentry. This space was designed to accommodate large meetings using video-conferencing capabilities and will serve as the hub for future emergency response situations.

Energy Management System. In conjunction with the Campus Metering Project and the construction of the Campus Command Control Center, we now have the ability to assess real-time energy use and predictive operational needs of each building on campus. Because the energy management platform is linked to the campus HVAC controls, the relationship of energy use can be directly correlated to the performance of each building. The expansion of these technologies is critical to identifying energy conservation measures to systematically reduce energy expenditures campus wide.

Campus Metering. This $1.3 million project used stimulus funds to add utility meters to nearly all campus buildings to enable further energy management and conservation efforts. The meter data will be streamed in real-time to the Honeywell controls system for technicians to take advantage of energy conservation opportunities.

Utilities Infrastructure and Power Plant Improvements. This $10.27 million project replaced a boiler and repaired and replaced an antiquated 4160 volt electrical system.

Leasure Hall. This $1.43 million project added an elevator; a new classroom; as well as updated doors, stairs, and offices.

Willard Hall. This $6.5 million project repaired exterior walls, waterproofed below-grade walls, upgraded electrical service, made life safety improvements and updated spaces to allow consolidation of the art department.

Seaton Court. This $2.17 million project allowed for rebuilding of roofs and an updated fire sprinkler system.

Calvin/McCain/Justin. This $1.76 million project allowed for the reroofing of Calvin Hall and the academic portion of McCain as well as updated a classroom in Justin Hall.

Waters Hall Improvements. This $1 million project, funded by a recent private donation that qualified for the tax credit, will add an elevator in an existing shaft to improve accessibility and will upgrade the building electrical supply.

Campus Steam Line Replacement. This $2.3 million project replaced a steam-line along 17th Street and College Heights.

Call/Kedzie/Justin. This $5.84 million project replaced the failing cooling system and plumbing components in three major campus buildings.

Roof Projects. This $3.85 million project replaced roofs on 10 campus buildings.

Nichols/Engineering Complex. This $1.3 million project replaced joint caulking on the engineering buildings and repaired a significant portion of Nichols’ exterior.

Heating and Cooling. This $390K project replaced Chillers for Bluemont Hall and Burt Hall.

Waters Hall Window Replacement. This $1.3 million project used stimulus funds to replace approximately 700 windows in Waters Hall.

Wireless Network Infrastructure. A total of 434 new access points were installed, including the following campus buildings: Ahearn, the parking garage, Bluemont Hall, King Hall, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Willard Hall, Calvin Hall, Cardwell Hall, Justin Hall, Umberger Hall, Call Hall, and Military Science.

Departmental Server Migration. We continue to work to migrate departmental servers to a centralized data center managed by ITS. This past year, the following departments moved to ITS managed computing: Biochemistry, the Student Union, the Student Governing Association offices, Greek Affairs, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Technology Classroom Upgrades. We have upgraded 25 general use classrooms with basic technology during the past year and are on target to add 50 classrooms with technology upgrades over the 2011 – 2013 time frame.

Upgraded Wireless Network Security. We deployed a significantly enhanced wireless security network (WPA 2) throughout campus.

Upgrade to Campus Cabling. A total of 77.69 Miles (404,000 feet!) of category 6 cable has been installed over the past year to accommodate the below-ground ITS infrastructure.

There are many more projects that could have been included – but I hope you get a sense that we are making forward progress on campus upgrades. Could we spend more money on other projects if we had it? Absolutely! However, we will continue to use what resources we have to systematically upgrade and update campus facilities.

As I close this month, I want to be sure that we express our gratitude to our Division of Facilities and ITS professionals, who put in long hours in an effort to improve Kansas State University. We appreciate your dedication and hard work in helping Kansas State achieve our goal of becoming a Top 50 Public Research University by 2025.

Go Cats!