Campus housing progresses ahead of schedule
It has been the better part of a year since the completion of the Phase I housing project, an endeavor that took significant overtime to complete; Phase II, on the other hand, is right on schedule.
The Phase II housing project, which includes sites four, five and six—Lackhove, Kieffer and McCune, respectively—is now nearing the end of its eighth month. Project manager Bruce Herring said, “The project overall is moving along very well,” and at, “a more sane pace,” than the first.
According to Herring, the three sites now under construction were, until recently, two to three weeks ahead of schedule, but the framing of site six by a new subcontractor has moved along slower than expected. To keep the project on schedule, Fortune Johnson General Contractors of Georgia has called on extra crews to speed up the framing process, allowing floors and walls to be installed at a rapid pace.
While the crews work on site, the modular panels for the interior of the residence halls have been prefabricated at American Pride Builders in Selinsgrove, Pa. These models, which are built on tables in a factory, offer, “a lot higher quality than constructing in the weather,” Herring said.
According to Herring, other than structural grouting taking longer than expected to pump into the ground, the construction process has not faced any major dilemmas. He commended the SU student body for a limited number of noise complaints and the contractors for keeping the sites clean.
Herring said the project is scheduled to be complete by August 2014; a deadline the contractor is comfortable with.
While Phase II has been taking place, maintenance and construction crews have remained busy on a number of projects around campus.
“This summer we were able to take care of a number of warranty issues with the project,” Herring said, which included a few leaks being patched, carpets repaired and door frames refitted.
Though it will all depend on proper maintenance, Herring said the life expectancy of the new residence halls is a minimum of 50 years.
Other projects this past summer included the repainting of the water tower at the northeast corner of campus for the first time since its 1987 construction, with the addition of the SU logo on two sides, the Martin House eaves being repainted, the Franklin Science Center reroofed and a new Lehman Library help desk. A few major paving projects took place, including the parking lot between Rowland and Stewart halls, the driveway leading to Old Main and the parking lot neighboring Robb Field.
One wing in the basement of Horton Hall was renovated for athletic coaches’ offices; the renovation included new floor, wall and ceiling finishes, and the installation of air conditioning.
Currently, the interior Shippen Hall stairs are getting a makeover and the Heiges Field House sound system is being replaced.
Phase III of the housing project has been put on hold, giving Mowrey Hall “a new lease on life,” Herring said.
The old Seavers Apartments site was scheduled to receive a temporary fix after the demolition of the building, but a longer-term solution was implemented. After a “horrible summer for growing grass,” Herring said several sites around the new housing will be reseeded this winter and several new trees that have died will also be replaced.