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More Construction Projects Planned This Summer
construction site

Site preparation, foreground, continues for the Steven G. Mihaylo Building — one of the many construction projects going on.

New entrance, student recreation center among ongoing improvements to campus.

May 18, 2006

By PAMELA MCLAREN

This summer, new construction projects will continue to change the university landscape. Several other projects are in the planning stages.

One of the biggest ongoing changes is the new south side entrance just west of the Fullerton Marriott. Asphalt has been poured and the new entrance road was opened for incoming vehicles only May 15.

"We know that the existing entrance from Nutwood and Commonwealth has been difficult, especially as construction has progressed, so opening up the new entrance for incoming vehicles only should ease the situation a bit, at least for those entering the campus from the 57 Freeway and Nutwood Avenue from the east," said Michael Smith, director of design and construction.

The entrance will not be used for both ingress and egress until further modifications have occurred at the site, noted Smith. Still to come are traffic signals at the entrance, additional curb work along Nutwood Avenue, road widening in front of the Marriott and a new entryway for the hotel.

When completed — in mid-August, according to Smith — the entrance road will feature three lanes entering and four lanes exiting campus. Nutwood Avenue will be restriped so that there are multiple turn lanes from both the east and west.

Adjacent to the entrance, site preparation continues for Steven J. Mihaylo Hall, the future home for the College of Business and Economics. Construction of the five-story, 195,000-square-foot building is set to begin in July with completion expected in July 2008.

West Side of Campus

Where the State College Parking Structure was recently completed, visitors and campus members will once again see construction equipment and earthmovers as preparation begins in June for the 95,000-square-foot Student Recreation Center. Initial construction will include laying pipes underneath West Campus Drive from the Titan Student Union to the center site. Building construction begins in earnest in July with completion set for January 2008.

"In terms of its scope, this is the most ambitious project that the Associated Students Inc. has taken on to date," said Kurt Borsting, director of the Titan Student Union, noting that student-fee supported efforts previously funded the original 70,000-square foot student union that opened in 1976, and the 70,000-square-foot union expansion completed in 1992.

The recreation center will feature a weigh-training area and cardio-fitness room, multi-court gymnasium, indoor jogging track, multipurpose activity rooms, racquetball and sports courts, a group exercise area for spinning bike classes, a floor exercise/stretching area, climbing wall and outdoor leisure/lap swimming pool, in addition to administrative offices and locker/ shower rooms.

"In addition to students using the facility to exercise and take part in recreational activities, we hope to offer out-of-classroom learning opportunities, such as on-site wellness evaluations, on-on-one and group fitness instruction, and non-credit educational seminars and lectures," Borsting added.

Smaller Construction Projects

Although less visible than a new building, additional construction projects within some of university buildings are underway.

One of the ongoing projects involves installation of new locks in university buildings, classrooms and offices. The joint project of University Police and Physical Plant began in spring 2005 and since then, eight buildings have been or are in the process of being rekeyed. In June, work is expected to progress to University Hall with another building added to the process every six weeks until the project is complete.

Also underway this summer are upgrades to several areas in the Science Laboratory Center, McCarthy Hall, Educational Classroom and Engineering Building. In the old section of the Kinesiology and Health Science Building, the second floor gymnastics area will be renovated, as will some first-floor restrooms and general locker rooms. The gym floor is being refinished with completion scheduled for June 18, according to Jim Corbett, assistant director of programs and projects in Physical Plant.

Another summer project will be the renovation of the Little Theatre in the Performing Arts Center. The facility will receive new carpet and refurbished seats. Fourteen general-use classrooms will undergo refurbishment in McCarthy Hall, Humanities- Social Sciences Building and the Educational Classroom.

Just starting are upgrades to the university's utility infrastructure, including central plant, noted Corbett. Part of the project will involve a new sewer line that will run along Nutwood Avenue west to State College Boulevard. The university's fire alarm project is slated for completion by summer's end.

Planning Phase

Plans begin this summer for a 5,000-square-foot nursing skills laboratory in the Kinesiology and Health Science Building. When completed, the lab will contain computer programs and audiovisual materials that will allow nursing students to practice skills in a simulated patient-care environment, said Mary Wickman, planning director for the new entry-level master's degree in nursing option. The program is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a field other than nursing.

In the feasibility phase is a proposed plan to construct new facilities for the Children's Center. Being considered is a plan to construct a 17,000-squarefoot structure to serve up to 166 children.

Also in the feasibility stages is a proposed 1,000-bed student housing project to be located southeast of current student housing. The residence hall configuration will feature double-occupancy rooms with shared restrooms, lounges and study rooms, as well as a central dining facility and a new parking structure for 1,500 vehicles.

"There will be a lot of work going on this summer and for the next two years in order to complete the College of Business and Economics building and the Student Recreation Center," said Smith. "When they are completed, the campus will have two new fantastic facilities.

Maps of the construction sites can be found on the Design and Construction Web site.



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