There is a high demand for these construction projects on campus, according to Fred Haberecht, assistant director of landscaping and planning with CSU’s Facilities Management.
“The University, like most universities, is growing and has not made a very large investment in the physical infrastructure until recently,” Haberecht said. “A lot of existing buildings you see on campus are from 50 years ago. So reinvestment is happening now. Economically, it’s a really good time to invest, interest rates are low and sometimes it’s just a gift to the University, or mandated by the students.”
Research Drive Parking Lot
A new parking lot located west of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, south of campus on Research Drive, is now open to students, staff and faculty with a valid parking permit. There are also metered spots where students can pay to park by the hour. Around the Horn will service the lot every 10 minutes and Transfort routes will service it every 15 minutes.
The lot provides 900 new spaces to help accommodate lost parking caused by various construction projects. Parking permits for this lot will be sold at a discounted rate in comparison to main campus lots.
A new biology building will break ground Oct. 15 and will be funded mainly by a student facilities fee. The College of Natural Sciences, the Department of Biology and the University also contributed to the project.
Construction of a new chemistry building will also begin in spring 2016. Both buildings will be a part of the science mall, located along the south side of Pitkin Street. The science mall was designed to be one of the gateways to campus, according to University officials. It is currently made up of Yates Hall, Microbiology, Anatomy-Zoology, Environmental Health, Pathology and the Painter Center.
The chemistry building, partially funded by the state, will rapidly break ground and catch up to the progress of the biology building. They are both scheduled to be completed in late fall 2017.
“The construction for the new chemistry building will begin just after the first of the year, so in January and February,” Haberecht said. “The chemistry building goes in the footprint of the current livestock pavilion and the livestock pavilion needs to be operational through this semester.”
The Aggie Village redevelopment project is underway south of campus. Facilities Management predicts it to be completed next summer, in time for students to move in for the 2016-2017 school year.
Housing and Dining Services divides student living into two sections: residence life and apartment life. Aggie Village is an example of apartment life, which targets upperclassmen or graduate students. There is typically not a dining hall in these apartment complexes — students are provided with a kitchen and are self-sustaining.
Plant Environmental Research Center (PERC)
Due to the construction of the on-campus stadium, PERC was relocated to a different site on Center Avenue. New greenhouses, classrooms and lab space were built for horticulture students to study plant materials “in action,” according to the PERC website.
“It’s a greenhouse complex,” Haberecht said. “Approximately 220,000 square feet of greenhouses, and approximately 6,000 square feet of building for research, teaching and office.”
Big plans are in the making for a new on-campus medical center. The $59 million project is scheduled for completion in late 2016.
“The University will break ground sometime this fall or winter, and will complete the project this spring,” wrote CSU spokeswoman Dell Rae Ciaravola in an email to the Collegian. “Exact dates are not yet set – it’s too early in the process.”
As the student population rises, CSU is outgrowing Hartshorn Health Center. Hartshorn was built in 1964 to meet the needs of 9,000 students. Today, with a student body almost four times that size, the University is ready to update facilities to accommodate this growth.
“This year, there are 500 more freshmen entering the University (this year) than last year, so there’s a need there to build facilities for the incoming freshmen,” Haberecht said.
The new medical center will be four stories tall, and will sit on the corner of College Avenue and Prospect Road. There will be a public walk-in clinic run by Associates in Family Medicine and UC Health.
South College Parking Garage
The north section of the University Square parking lot has been closed to begin preparation for a new parking garage. The new garage will be located on the southeast corner of Mason and Pitkin streets. It will add 650 new parking spaces, ready for use in about a year.
“It’s a very exciting time to be at CSU, especially in the design, construction and planning,” Haberecht said. “It’s good to be a part of something putting the University in a positive place for the next 50 years.”
Collegian Reporter Veronica Baas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @vcbaas.