Campus buzzing with construction

With the students gone over the summer and campus deserted, summer provides the ideal opportunity for construction crews to forge ahead with around $70 million in construction projects. Projects big and small are in the works, from elevator renovations to the construction of three new buildings.

Walter Banziger, director of planning, design and construction, emphasized that the $70 million total in construction includes projects that will begin this summer and expand over the next few years, such as the new residence hall.

Banziger noted that these past few summers have had more construction than usual. “It is certainly busier than it has been in previous years,” Banziger said.

A new dormitory for freshman is being built north of the Outdoor Recreation Center and west of the Roskie Hall. The 400-bed dormitory costs $35 million and is expected to open in 2016. The cost will be covered by MSU’s auxiliaries services.

Other projects going on this summer include $6 million in upgrades for Miller Dining Hall to create a more modern space to serve food in and provide increased accessibility for entrances.

The Fieldhouse will undergo construction to upgrade the arena and seating area, replace the running floor, install a new sound system and dividing curtain for $3 million.

The SUB has $2.9 million in renovations with upgraded heating, ventilation and lighting. $300,000 will be put towards storage space and a gas-fired pizza oven will be installed in the Bobcat Pizza Parlor for $200,000.

Linfield Hall 231, Visual Communications 168, Cheever Hall 215, Lewis 307 and 407 will undergo $1.5 million in classroom renovations.

Construction in Haynes Hall will bring the building to earthquake safety codes. The $3.8 million cost is covered by state dollars and a federal FEMA grant.

The Museum of the Rockies will receive a new storage building for collections and a lighting retrofit for $1.2 million.

A few smaller projects that will be completed this summer include a $600,000 roof replacement for Renne Library. Wilson hall will have bridge structures repaired for $225,000. North Hedges Dorm will undergo $308,000 in elevator renovations. Gaines Hall and the Animal Bioscience building will  have $140,000 spent on building “pigeon deterrents.” Another $175,000 will be put towards annual maintenance in the parking lots.

The construction has slightly affected activities around campus, such as orientation. Destini French, ASMSU student body president and orientation coordinator, discussed a few changes they have had to make with their program due to construction. “We usually house the students in North and South Hedges but this year they are in Hapner and Langford … Also, instead of eating in Miller Dining Hall we have opened up Hannon and Harrison Dining Halls,” French said.

The $70 million does not include costs associated with building the Norm Asbjornson Innovation Center for the College of Engineering, which is being paid for by the $50 million donation from Norm Asbjornson, the largest donation MSU has ever received.

The construction cost for the Jake Jabs Hall for the College of Business & Entrepreneurship was also covered by a donation from alumnus Jake Jabs, who donated $25 million. The building is expected to be finished by late fall and it is anticipated to receive LEED certification.