Jun 122007
Authors: Erik Myers The Rocky Mountain Collegian

While most CSU students and staff are taking a much-needed breather in the summer months, Facilities Management is on the prowl, fixing, remodeling and moving things across campus.

It’s primetime for construction, overhauls and remodeling. Fifty-two projects are currently taking place across campus, many of which continue to linger in the pre-planning stages.

Most notable among these is the university’s new Academic Village, centered between Edwards and Newsom Hall. The village will contain two new residence halls for honors and engineering students. A new dining hall will also be included, set to a food court theme that will include a sports bar and an express service.

Betty Duncan, administrative assistant of Facilities Management, said the village will have a different sort of aura to it than that of a regular dormitory.

“It’s being built under a new guise, more of a community than just dorms.” Duncan said.

The residence halls are expected to be open to students for the fall semester, while the dining hall is scheduled to open in January 2008.

The athletic building layout will be seeing the addition of two new facilities, both of which are larger construction projects at the university. An indoor practice facility will be added onto the Student Recreation Center, doubling its original size. Southwest of Moby Arena, the development of the Academic Learning Center is underway.

Jim Stoddard, the project manager overlooking both projects, described the indoor practice facility as more appealing to the athlete, while the Academic Learning Center would cater to the student within the student-athlete.

“(The center) is to help the athletes with their academic program, help them get through and offer some one-on-one counseling or guidance for them,” Stoddard said.

Aside from the major construction, the only other significant campus change will be the addition of two new parking lots added to the southwest corner of campus, next to the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Tommy Moss, associate director of design and construction, said that the parking lots north of the vet hospital would be the location of a state-funded Diagnostic Medical Center, which is still in the design process.

Other minor construction projects include a skylight replacement and a lounge addition at the Lory Student Center, as well as a Radiation Therapy room for the veterinarian teaching hospital and a high-security regional biocontainment lab on the Foothills campus.

The development of a construction project can vary, Stoddard said. Depending on available funding, campus priority, the project’s size and the outside agency responsible for construction, many projects take over a year of pre-planning and design before hard-hat crews move in.

Even reaching the pre-planning stage takes time, Moss said.

Facility management is assigned projects from the university through strategic planning. The president and his administrative staff create a maintenance plan, a sort of schedule that’s prioritized by budget and academic needs. With the plan analyzed and approved, orders for building placement and development are assigned to various project managers.

The 52 projects scheduled for the summer have gone through this administrative process. Despite this, Moss doesn’t expect them all to be completed by the fall semester, due to the various delays that can easily arise.

“Each (project) has its own life-sequence, moving back and forth.” Moss said.

Staff writer Erik Myers can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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