Campus Planning, Design and Construction

How much do you know about the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Norm Asbjornson Innovation Center and the 400-500 Bed Residence Hall that are currently being constructed? Campus Planning, Design and Construction (CPDC) oversees all of the projects and plays a significant role in the growth and development of the MSU campus. Associate Vice President of University Services Bob Lashaway said, “[CPDC] manages all design and construction contracts and serves as the interface between all contracted out companies and project clients.”

With over 12 sub-departments that operate under CPDC, the department is essential and vital to “providing safe and adequate modern facilities in support of the university’s mission,” Lashaway said.

CPDC follows a very specific process in implementing its various project processes. The first step is project initiation and feasibility. The departments works to outline project schedules and the feasibility of the specific proposal. Next comes project planning in which the department decides a timeline and locates a funding source.

After receiving funding authority and approvals from various areas, such as the deans of a department in which the project is impacting, CPDC carefully selects a company to design the project. This includes many “companies from the community so that it benefits both parties,” Lashaway said. However, the project cost dictates the clients design option. If the projected budget is less than $75,000, than the client can choose to have CPDC service the project, but if the project exceeds $75,000, the client must seek out an outside source to handle the project.

After this, concept design takes place and the plan is set forth in preliminary drawings. Design development, construction permits and final bidding for contractors all take place next. Combined, these steps in the project process can take a combined 13 months to execute. Finally after these eight steps, construction officially begins and can take up to two years. The last step after the construction period is an occupancy and warranty period, and then the project can be utilized day to day at MSU.

CPDC not only facilitates large scale projects at MSU but it also is the coordinator of long range construction projects on all of Montana’s MSU campuses. This includes campuses ranging from MSU-Billings to Great Falls College MSU.

Lashaway summed up the department, saying, “(University Services) is both challenging and rewarding on a daily basis and something is always going on. But we take pride in knowing that we play a role in the ability of the university to deliver a product.” This role often goes unseen on a daily basis, but it is clear without that role, MSU would not be what it is today.