CSU students return each semester to a campus that continues to be renovated, revitalized and added on to.
“CSU is always looking at ways to improve and upgrade the educational experience for students,” said Cass Beitler, project manager and assistant director, in an email to the Collegian.
The Morgan Library and Parmelee Hall renovations and additions were completed over the summer. The Lory Student Center Theater and Harthshorn parking lot were two other construction projects completed before the fall term began.
Work on Moby Arena continues and construction planners are aware of the challenges presented while working on a building that is still fully functioning.
“It was a very challenging project because we need to continue construction and continue events in the same space,” said Mike Rush, university architect and building official.
“Revitalization to Moby Arena is going to have a great visual impact and relieve a lot of functional challenges in the building. It was a very challenging project so there’s something to be said for getting through that.”
Work on the north concourse is expected to be completed by the volleyball team’s home opener Friday while the south side should be done by the start of the conference basketball season.
Durrell’s expansion project started August 20, 2012 and will be completed in May of 2013.
The building will have a “greatly improved dining facility with six dining venues on the second floor and improved student gathering space for study, relaxation, activities and meetings at Durrell lower level with improved access to the building,” Beitler said.
A 600-bed housing facility will also be extended in the Durrell Center.
“The new and revitalized facilities readily accommodate student enrollment growth,” Shelly Carrol said. “A number of projects revitalize existing buildings. Many of the subject buildings were originally constructed in the 1960’s.”
Rush echoed Carrol’s concerns.
“The majority of buildings on campus were developed during the 60s and many of them need attention electrically, mechanically and aesthetically,” he said.
Additions to the Braiden and Parmelee residence halls were done by adding a fourth floor to an already existing building, Rush said. By adapting an existing building and improving it by adding energy efficiency to the exterior wall brings the 40 to 60 year old dormitories up to date. It is also beneficial to add onto already existing structures so new projects do not take up any of the existing open space on campus.
“We see a dramatic improvement to the campus aesthetic through continuity of form and material qualities. The projects also greatly improve the energy efficiency and functionality in these existing structurally sound buildings,” Carrol said. “After revitalization these facilities will continue to sustainably serve the university for many years to come.”
One of the projects designed to improve the campus aesthetic is the Academic Village North project. It will completely transform the north side of campus along Laurel St. Landscaping improvements will be added at the Towers, Durrell, Corbett, and Rockwell residence halls.
“In the Academic Village North project we are deconstructing a 1940’s building to greatly increase development density. This project accommodates a living learning community on the north side of campus,” Carrol said. “This deconstruction and redevelopment allows us to not only continue to preserve the existing open and green spaces, but also create new ones.”
University Facilities Fees and University Reserves pay for these construction projects.
“Bear with us,” Rush said about the continuing construction on campus. “If you look at the projects we’ve completed like the Behavioral Sciences Building, it was really embraced by the campus community and it adds to the aesthetic of campus. We try to accommodate construction and make it as painless as possible but there is always obvious inconvenience.”
Senior Reporter Kate Simmons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.