Campus Construction Update, January 27, 2020
Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Matt Dull chats with University Communications' Dave Blanks concerning construction progress on Appalachian's new residence halls.
Dave Blanks: Hey folks, it's me, Dave Blanks from University Communications, joined by Matt Dull. Hello, Matt Dull.
Matt Dull: Hey, Dave.
Dave Blanks: We are back with a Campus Construction Update, sir.
Matt Dull: We are back. It's good to be back in the studio.
Dave Blanks: Glad to have you back here. We've had our break, and the glow has worn off. No. But we're happy to be back in studio, right?
Matt Dull: We are happy to be back.
Dave Blanks: I'm happy to be back here. There have been some changes to the site.
Matt Dull: We'll just start with Building 100.
Dave Blanks: Sounds good. So, what's going on?
Matt Dull: Throughout the building, a lot of different activities happening. Work on that masonry facade is continuing on most of the buildings. So, going ahead and putting the brick work up, the precast concrete, stone, kind of the precast stone, up on the outside of the building. That's going on. Window installations going on throughout the building. So, if you've been by the past few days, you start to see all those kind of windows going in in all the units.
Matt Dull: Inside the buildings, hanging drywall in the dried-in sections of the building, doing the waterproofing kind of in the shower pan area and around the shower area, putting down kind of a waterproofing coat, so once you actually put the shower pans in and once you to actually put the tile work down, if there is any water that happens to kind of get through all the little cracks, it doesn't drip down into that floor below. In the process of installing showers throughout Building 100, really trying to get every little bit done before we start doing that kind of production drywall, doing that fast kind of move of all of the drywall throughout the building. So, we're very close to that.
Dave Blanks: The framework in there is still what it is —
Matt Dull: So, framework is done. So, all of the framework is done in the building.
Dave Blanks: By "framework"... Maybe I'm using the wrong term. I'm talking about like, "This is clearly a room. It's —"
Matt Dull: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Dave Blanks: Is that what that means?
Matt Dull: Oh, yeah. So, you can definitely see definition of where the rooms are, which ones are the common spaces, where the elevator is going. I mean, if you walk through the building, all of the framing is done. The rough-in of the mechanical and electrical and plumbing, all of that's done.
Matt Dull: Except for that kind of one middle section — we talked about that before the break — that's kind of the last section being finished up. We are finishing up the mechanical and electrical rough-in now throughout the building. The exterior Tyvec is about to go on to that middle section. So, that's going on. The roof trusses are done. And we're getting ready to install that roof membrane that keeps the water from coming down into the building. That's about to start here this week. Windows will start going into this section here in the next couple of weeks. So, that center section of the building, that last section, we'll be working on trying to get fully dried-in here over the next couple of weeks, so we can really move forward on that last section, and getting it ready to get insulated and Sheetrocked.
Dave Blanks: They took a break too, right?
Matt Dull: Not much.
Dave Blanks: No, not really?
Matt Dull: Yeah. So, the site was closed on Christmas Day, and I think it was the day after Christmas, or maybe it was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Dave Blanks: And then they were back at it.
Matt Dull: They were back at it, and even worked a Saturday and Sunday after Christmas. So usually, they're doing six-day weeks, but went on and worked through Sunday to kind of make up some lost time for Christmas Day. But yeah, really, we're on-site most of the break. So, we might've taken a little bit of a break. Students would have taken a little break. But really, the site kept on moving. And it was pretty decent weather over the winter break here in town. We actually had some pretty warm weather.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, remarkably warm.
Matt Dull: Remarkably warm for December in Boone. And unfortunately —
Dave Blanks: Like shorts weather, some of the days.
Matt Dull: Yeah. Really odd weather for Christmas. It didn't really feel like the holidays were —
Dave Blanks: No, it was wrong.
Matt Dull: You were able to walk around in shorts and a T-shirt and feel pretty comfortable. So ...
Dave Blanks: Right. So, they kept at it most of the time.
Matt Dull: Unfortunately, in Boone, in the winter, when you get warmer temperatures, that usually comes with rain. So, it's like you either got to decide, is it, you want to be cold and dry, or do you want to be wet and warm? Warmish. So, it's ...
Dave Blanks: What's better for construction? I would assume the no rain.
Matt Dull: Yeah, cold and dry.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, cold and dry.
Matt Dull: Well, especially when you're doing this exterior work. As we finish up the exterior work, that rain matters less and less. Once we really get fully into the buildings and we're really doing more production work inside the building, warmer weather is kind of nice because you're working in those conditions. We're temporarily heating those buildings, but it doesn't quite feel quite as warm as what it's going to feel like when it's actually done.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. Where do you want to go next, Matt?
Matt Dull: Well, I mean Building 200 is actually ... it's, again, probably three, four weeks ahead of where Building 100 is in terms of kind of the long-term schedule for the building. So, Building 200, waterproofing is wrapping up, and shower installation is wrapping up as well in all of the units. So, showers in all those units, trying to get the wet rooms, if you will, those shower rooms that will be in every suite throughout the building, getting those totally waterproofed.
Matt Dull: The brick and stone exterior is almost finished. We're getting really close to finishing that up. One last little section to finish up there. So, that's really close to really being substantially complete. Doing an insulation installation in all of the walls right now and ceilings throughout the building. So, now being able to kind of cover up all of that rough-in plumbing and electrical, so we can come back and start pretty heavy, large-scale drywall installation —
Dave Blanks: That's a lot of drywall.
Matt Dull: ... this week. Lot of drywall. But it's pretty amazing to watch these crews do drywall though. I mean, once they get into a routine, just the speed they can get through these hallways and corridors; it's just incredible.
Dave Blanks: That's awesome. You still have to wait on the mud to dry though.
Matt Dull: Still do.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, yeah. Can't speed that. I guess you could speed it up. Do they heat that up?
Matt Dull: So, not necessarily the mud itself, but that's one reason why you want to keep the ... now that you've kind of got it dried-in, you want to keep the buildings fairly dry, and not be quite as ...
Dave Blanks: Breezy?
Matt Dull: As breezy, or ... yeah. So, you want to kind of heat —
Dave Blanks: Or damp.
Matt Dull: ... and condition the space a little bit to keep it from getting damp, to keep you from ending up having damp wood that you're getting ready to cover up. You want to keep it fairly dry, so that's why you're doing temporary heating throughout the buildings. Keep the buildings dry, keep a little bit nicer working conditions so it's not freezing, and you don't have snow and water kind of blowing into the building all the time for whatever little openings you have left that haven't been totally dried-in. So, yeah. So, doing that temporary heating of the building really just helps us get to where when you do that drywall insulation, that you're covering up a really dry building.
Dave Blanks: Anything else on 200, Matt?
Matt Dull: No, I think just, again, moving forward towards really kind of shaping up in the next couple of weeks when you walk into that building to really be able to see what those final spaces are going to really look like with the full walls and drywall in and windows are in. It's really going to feel a lot like, "Wow, couldn't move in tomorrow, but I really can see kind of how the building's going to feel for students when they move in in August."
Dave Blanks: Got you. What about 300 next?
Matt Dull: Yeah. Phase two. Building 300. So, the design for Building 300 is complete. So, we've talked about that, kind of throughout the fall in the podcast. Building 300 will have right at 640 beds in it. So, pretty big building. It's actually bigger than Building 100. Two hundred's about 322 beds. Then Building 100's in the 560-bed range. Building 300 is 640 beds. Building 400, we're slated to have around 670 beds. So, 400 will actually be the largest building that we're doing.
Matt Dull: So, phase two has Building 300. We're also replacing a water main that goes down Stadium Heights Drive. That's that road that, when you turn on to Jack Branch from Stadium Drive and then take your next right just past Building 200, that's Stadium Height Drive. Most people probably didn't realize it had a name.
Dave Blanks: I did not before we started doing these.
Matt Dull: So, we'll take a right down Stadium Heights Drive. They're replacing the water main that goes down that road. It's a fairly old pipe that's there, so while we're digging all this up, let's replace it and get that area so that we're not having to go back in there in another five or 10 years. Also, at the same time, replacing the steam line that goes down Stadium Heights Drive. So, that work will start fairly quickly. Basically in February and March, we'll start that work of cutting into Stadium Heights Drive and putting in the steam lines, putting in the new water line, running a fiber line, which is all of our data, so for internet connection and phones and that kind of stuff. All of that work's going to be first, as they're also working on the foundation for Building 300.
Matt Dull: So, Building 300. We've got the design done. We've got zoning permits and building permits that are ready. And we have a clear path to construct the building. So, moving forward there, we will close, we'll do a financial close, on February the 13th, that's the second phase of Building 300, and the steam and water; and start construction on Valentine's Day, February the 14th.
Dave Blanks: So romantic.
Matt Dull: That's right.
Dave Blanks: Steamy Valentine's Day.
Matt Dull: So, construction should start pretty immediately. And that will be moving out that fence line a little bit down towards the Stadium Parking Deck, and the Frank, and Belk, and Newland, moving that fence line just a little bit further out so we can start working on the foundation of Building 300, as well as start putting in that steam line and new water main.
Dave Blanks: Is this going to affect any of the pedestrian throughways that are set up now?
Matt Dull: It'll affect that. The pedestrian throughways, and also how cars will navigate that path, are going to change quite a bit over the last half of the spring semester and into the summer. So, we'll have to kind of be every week, a few weeks or so, kind of move which lane cars will be going down, which lanes pedestrians will be going down. Be fairly similar to what we were doing last summer when we were starting the parking deck, and last spring and summer, having to kind of ... every few weeks, it's kind of like those fence lines moved based on what utilities and things were going down underground to build the parking deck. We'll be kind of doing that second phase now of putting in that steam line and water line through really the spring and into the summer. So, this last half of the semester and into summer, a lot more moving of those fence lines.
Matt Dull: Really, when students get back in the fall of 2020, should be a lot less of that moving. That utility work should be wrapped up, and really it would just be work on Building 300 at that point. So, a little bit more movement in those paths spring and summer, and then back to a lot more of a solid construction site for fall of 2022 [crosstalk 00:11:06] students come back.
Dave Blanks: OK, cool. All right. So, we've got the water main, the steam line, the fiber, all on Stadium Heights Drive. And then what else?
Matt Dull: Yeah. Building 300. And then also, there's a traffic circle down at Trivette Hall. That's going to be kind of re-leveled out. And it's odd when you ... you don't think about it, but actually when you go look at it, it's-
Dave Blanks: It's very slanted down.
Matt Dull: It's very slanted. Yeah. It's slanted down towards —
Dave Blanks: Towards Trivette.
Matt Dull: Towards Trivette, towards Duck Pond, that area. And looking at kind of raising the elevation of that and making it a much more level space. It also provides some better ADA access, more accessible spaces and driveways into Trivette, into Newland, into Building 100 and Building 300. So, finishing out that circle's going to be a part of this next phase.
Matt Dull: And really, this second phase is really trying to get as much as possible done on that side of Stadium Drive, on the Trivette Hall side of Stadium Drive. So, the idea is when we totally finish phase two, we're almost totally pulled out of all the construction work from that side of Stadium. And then we'll be focused in phase three, that would all be on the other side of Stadium Drive. I guess that's the east side of Stadium Drive. Is that right? Yeah. I guess the east side —
Dave Blanks: I'll take your word for it. It sounds right.
Matt Dull: Yeah, sure. The Justice side of Stadium Drive.
Dave Blanks: That makes sense, yeah.
Matt Dull: So, demolition of Justice will happen this summer. So, summer of 2020, we'll be taking down Justice. And that'll go into a little bit of the fall semester. And that's really to get ready to build Building 400, which will go on that site.
Matt Dull: And for a short period of time, kind of in the mid to late fall, it's just going to kind of look like an empty site with a fence around it. And then when we come back in in February of '21, we'll start kind of doing the same thing at Building 300: doing utility work, doing foundation work for Building 400 and then building Building 400 on that site. But by the time we really start building Building 400, we really want to be mostly out of the west side of Stadium Drive, the Trivette Hall side of Stadium Drive. So, we're really going to be focused more on that Justice lot site as we move into 2021.
Dave Blanks: Cool. Anything else that we want to cover today, Mr. Dull?
Matt Dull: I think that's about it. We're still working on design, again, for Building 400 now. We've kind of moved away from 300; it's, for the most part, designed. And now, we've started sessions working on Building 400. So, this spring's going to be a lot of work. You got: finishing up Building 100, 200, starting Building 300, and designing Building 400, and demoing Justice right at the tail end of the spring. So, lots going on, both on-site and then kind of behind the scenes by a lot of folks on campus, to be able to get this third phase started. It's hard to think about, we're a year away from closing financially and being able to start this third phase, but we've got to get it designed and got to get ready.
Dave Blanks: I'm sure it'll be here before we know it.
Matt Dull: It'll be here before we know it.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. So, everything's still on time and on budget?
Matt Dull: Everything's on time, on budget. Actually, we'll be having students start being assigned to those buildings in mid-February, when we actually do our assignments process for on-campus housing. So, we will be starting to sell those beds and have students in those beds, assigned to those beds here in a couple of weeks, which is exciting. And we're confident enough in our schedule that we can go ahead and sell those beds. So, it's exciting, exciting to actually see some real, tangible buildings. We'll be able to move in here in a few months after working on it for several years. So ...
Dave Blanks: Hey, Matt, you want to talk again, maybe next week or the week after that?
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Yeah?
Matt Dull: Sounds good.
Dave Blanks: All right.
Matt Dull: We'll probably have some updates.
Dave Blanks: Let's do it! All right. Well, thanks, Matt, for coming by. I appreciate your time.
Matt Dull: Yeah, thanks. Thanks for having me.