Jun 292010
 
Authors: Abel Oshevire

The $45 million Behavioral Science Building, equipped with 3D classrooms and a 400-seat HD lecture hall, is slated to be ready by the start of fall classes.

Located to the south of the Clark Building’s C-wing, the building is on-budget, ahead of schedule and set to be completed in July along with about five other summer construction projects.

The Behavioral Science Building is funded completely by the student facility fee, which was $10 per credit hour up until a recent increase of $5 up to $15 per credit hour.

The building will also serve as an annex to the Morgan Library, which Facilities Management Director Brian Chase said often gets overcrowded, with study rooms available to any CSU student on afternoons and evenings.

“This will probably be the classiest building on campus. It is also being designed to meet LEED Gold certification standards,” Chase said.

LEED certification, which measures a building’s design and functionality as it relates to environmental sustainability, has three levels –– silver, gold and platinum –– that are awarded based on a point scale.

The points are determined from the number of LEED specifications followed in the project, such as water efficiency, energy use, types of materials utilized and natural lighting.

The Recreation Center and new tennis courts, which cost students $32 million in fees, are also right on schedule.

Judy Muenchow, executive director for the Recreation Center, said renovations to the east and west sides of the building are already done and open to students.

All renovations to Rec Center will be completed by the third week of August, and the building will likely be accessible the weekend before the start of the fall semester.

Students, however, will have to do without the pool in the Rec Center for the fall semester.

“The pool will be completely renovated and possibly open back up in January,” Muenchow said. “The pool was not in the in the original plan, but with the interest acquired from bonds it became a part of the project.”

All campus construction projects are paid for with bonds, which CSU sells to stakeholders and interested companies. All bonds are paid for with student facility fee revenue.

“A bond is a loan, kind of like a mortgage, which one will need to repay over a certain amount of time. Luckily, because of the recession, the market is very competitive,” Chase said, “so we have been able to get 15 to 20 percent more out of these buildings and projects.”

He added that without bonds, students would be hit with enormous costs. Bonds allow for payment to be evened out among students as time goes on, and each bond will ideally be paid off in 30 years.

Though there are no damages, some parking lots around campus are also undergoing maintenance projects.

“The lots are being seal-coated because, if you notice, they are bleached out instead of jet black, which leads to cracking,” Chase said, adding that about $400,000 to $500,000 is spent on redoing the lots each year.

Another project set to be finalized by the start of the fall semester is the Lake Street Parking Garage. Currently, people can park in the Lake Street garage, but Chase said they are interested in adding more features.

The first floor houses metered parking, the second floor is for students with different permits and the top floor is reserved for faculty.

“The garage is LEED Gold certified and is the only one in all of Colorado with a solar panel array,” Chase said. “There will be a convenience store and a Subway in the north side of the garage, which will be completed really soon.”

Come fall semester, students will see more construction on campus, including an expansion of the Warner College of Natural Resources Building to have outside seating for students to study and the redoubling of the 2-megawatts solar plant at the Foothills campus to 5.3 megawatts.

The expansion of the solar plant, which was completed last fall, is subject to approval from the County Commission. Chase said the university is confident of being approved and construction would begin on the site sometime in July or August.

Staff writer Abel Oshevire can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:59 pm