Campus Construction Update, March 9, 2020
Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Matt Dull chats with University Communications' Dave Blanks concerning progress on Appalachian's four new residence halls.
Dave Blanks: Hey folks, I'm Dave Blanks from University Communications, joined as always for another Campus Construction Update by Matt Dull. Hi, Matt.
Matt Dull: Hey, Dave.
Dave Blanks: I'm glad you're here.
Matt Dull: Yeah, good to be back.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, we covered some big topics last time with all our updates and then also the names of the residence halls.
Matt Dull: That's right.
Dave Blanks: That was big. So run down those one more time for us.
Matt Dull: Absolutely. So we've got Thunder Hill Hall, that's Building 100. We've got Raven Rocks Hall, that's Building 200. And then we have got Laurel Creek Hall, that's Building 300 and then we've got New River Hall and that's Building 400.
Dave Blanks: I feel like everyone I've talked to about it is very pleased with the names.
Matt Dull: Me too, actually.
Dave Blanks: Yeah.
Matt Dull: Yeah. I've had a lot of really good feedback on campus from folks and I was looking ... Actually, my wife was looking at Facebook, just reading through some really positive comments from folks. And especially picking up on just how being able to highlight some of the places in the High Country, where students may want to go and helping them get more exposure to some of the places up here, is really positive for names —
Dave Blanks: So cool.
Matt Dull: — and being able to connect students to really amazing places up here. Images in the building, in the lobby, maybe some images ... we're kind of working on what that strategy looks like, but maybe some images, even in study rooms, of different views you can get from those different sites around the High Country that encourage students to go there, give them some directions on how to get there as part of the signage package for the buildings.
Dave Blanks: Love it.
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: That's great.
Matt Dull: Hoping students actually can really connect to the places up here. That's what we really want.
Dave Blanks: So how are we going to follow up on this podcast? On the last one; it was pretty popular.
Matt Dull: Do some construction updates.
Dave Blanks: What? Those are useful, too. So let's do those too.
Matt Dull: Sure.
Dave Blanks: Where do you want to start?
Matt Dull: I guess we'll start with Thunder Hill Hall, Building 100.
Dave Blanks: I love that. That's the first time we've ever done it like that.
Matt Dull: I know.
Dave Blanks: That's great.
Matt Dull: Yeah, Thunder Hill.
Dave Blanks: All right, let's hear about Thunder Hill Hall.
Matt Dull: Thunder Hill. So, if you remember, we're constructing it in really three different sections. We'll start with kind of that center section of the building; it is kind of both residential plus some office spaces for the Residence Life offices, and our package desk and service desk for the west side of campus is in that center section of Thunder Hill Hall. We're now finishing up the roof system for the building, so that should be wrapping up this week. We're doing spray foam insulation on the roof deck, so the bottom of the roof deck; we're applying that this week. That helps increase the energy rating of the building. Envelopes, so it really helps make a more comfortable building for students and also makes it a more energy-efficient building by adding more insulation in.
Matt Dull: Window frames and windows are going into the building now, starting with the courtyard side of the building. So, folks probably are not seeing that; they're probably still seeing, as they come up Stadium Drive, kind of the big open areas where windows will be shortly.
Dave Blanks: Right.
Matt Dull: But we're working on the courtyard side of the building right now, putting windows in, and then should begin next week, in the next week or two on the Stadium Drive side of the building. So, really as we kind of get towards the end of March, people really should be kind of seeing the exterior of the building with the sheeting, Tyvek, all the windows in, the roof systems kind of finished up. So, by the time we get to the end of this month, I should have a dried in Building 100 in total.
Matt Dull: Let's see. That's the main kind of things. Obviously, windows are really that next thing for that center section of the building, that then kind of sets off a set of dominoes of really wrapping up the MEP work in the rooms.
Dave Blanks: What's that?
Matt Dull: The mechanical, electrical and plumbing, all of that kind of rough-in work in the rooms. Then moving on into insulation, then drywall, then taping and mudding and priming, and then the domino of all the interior work kind of continues to go in line there. So, really getting those windows in, getting the building dried in, is this kind of next critical pass step that's really got to finish up here at the end of this month so that that center section can kind of progress through all the interior work.
Dave Blanks: Fantastic.
Matt Dull: Yeah. And then the upper and lower section of the building — drywall application is in full production now. So both of those levels are actually, here in the next week or two, getting their primer coat of paint in those buildings over the next couple of weeks, or kind of towards the end of the month.
Dave Blanks: Drywall takes forever.
Matt Dull: Not when you have 30 or 40 people working.
Dave Blanks: That helps. That helps a lot.
Matt Dull: So yeah if it's just me, yes. Or me and another person.
Dave Blanks: Mud, then sand. Mud, then sand it again.
Matt Dull: It is a painful process and something I'm glad I'm not doing. And the students are probably glad I'm not doing the drywall in this building.
Dave Blanks: What else do you got, Matt?
Matt Dull: Let's see, masonry work is finishing up on the exterior or starting up on the exterior of Building 100.
Dave Blanks: Wait. Of what?
Matt Dull: Oh, I'm so sorry. Thunder Hill Hall.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. That's better.
Matt Dull: That is. It has a nice ring to it, right?
Dave Blanks: It does. I love it.
Matt Dull: So, masonry work continues to progress on that upper and lower sections that have the windows in already. So that's continuing. Elevator installation is ongoing as well, so that actually is happening. So doors are set on the elevator shafts and really moving forward pretty quickly on installing elevators. To install the elevators, that means we have to get permanent power to the building. So right now we have temporary power to the building, but we're now putting in the transformer and generator for the building, which will allow us to have permanent power and then allow us to kind of kick off other chain of events like putting in the elevator.
Matt Dull: So that kind of wraps up Thunder Hill Hall. It's everything from trying to get the building dried in, but also, at the same time, in the dried in sections of the building, going ahead and doing drywall and getting our first coat of primer paint on the walls and getting elevators installed. So lots going on, variety of activities going on in Building 100. Oop, Thunder Hill Hall right now.
Dave Blanks: Nice. Caught yourself that time.
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: What about Raven Rocks?
Matt Dull: Raven Rocks Hall, Building 200, drywall is going up rapidly throughout the building. We're starting on those top floors and working our way down the building. Elevator installation is ongoing in Raven Rocks Hall. We're getting permanent power again to that building as well, so finishing up the install of the transformer and generator. And masonry work should be substantially complete this week on the building, so really finishing all the exterior brick and precast stonework this week and moving most of our efforts then, really over to Building 100 as well as to site walls. So thinking about all of the site retaining walls and ramping and that kind of stuff that's throughout the site that need rock walls. That's really the next focus after finishing up Building 200, or also known as Raven Rocks Hall.
Dave Blanks: You keep catching yourself.
Matt Dull: Maybe next week folks.
Dave Blanks: You've been doing it for so long, right?
Matt Dull: It's hard to switch.
Dave Blanks: Tough habit.
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: What else?
Matt Dull: So that kind of wraps up phase one, Thunder Hill Hall and Raven Rocks Hall. And then phase two, already began. We talked about that last time, started on February the 14th, great little Valentine's Day gift to campus.
Dave Blanks: Right.
Matt Dull: Starting up Laurel Creek Hall, which is Building 300. Really right now we're moving asphalt, mass grading, starting to put in some of that temporary stormwater retention and silt fencing. All that kind of stuff's happening now. Trying to accomplish as much as that as possible now between the pretty heavy rain that we've had throughout the past week or so.
Dave Blanks: And some snow.
Matt Dull: And some snow. So but we are continuing to progress and really getting the site ready for geopiers, aggregate piers to kind of be started here in the next couple of weeks as we round out the month of March. To really get the geopier, agg pier work done at the end of the month.
Dave Blanks: Very good.
Matt Dull: So yeah.
Dave Blanks: What about New River?
Matt Dull: Yeah. Building 400, New River Hall, again on the site of the current Justice Hall. Things are progressing on the design nicely for the building and we're still looking at just under 700 beds in this building. So a rather large building, the largest building of the four.
Dave Blanks: That is big. Is that the biggest on our campus?
Matt Dull: It will be the biggest residence hall on our campus, yeah.
Dave Blanks: Right.
Matt Dull: The largest number of beds, and square footage-wise as well.
Dave Blanks: Oh, yeah?
Matt Dull: It's a large building. Currently on campus, Mountaineer Hall is the largest building. It's got over 460 beds.
Dave Blanks: And that's the one that's up Bodenheimer?
Matt Dull: That's up Bodenheimer, yep. If you're going up Bodenheimer, you pass our Student Recreation Center on the right. As you go up the hill, like you're going towards the old Broyhill Inn and the baseball stadium, you hit Mountaineer Hall first on your right, then Appalachian Heights and then you kind of keep going up the hill and you'll be up at the old Broyhill site.
Dave Blanks: Gotcha. So that was previously the largest?
Matt Dull: That was previously the largest, yeah.
Dave Blanks: OK.
Matt Dull: And if you've been familiar with campus for a long time, you've been on campus for a long time, the Mountaineer Hall is on part of the site of the old Mountaineer Apartments, which were the old family apartments that were kind of —
Dave Blanks: Like a privately owned thing?
Matt Dull: No, they were university-owned apartments, but they were originally designed for families.
Dave Blanks: Oh, for families. OK, that's what you meant. Gotcha.
Matt Dull: And then eventually were turned into just kind of regular student apartment housing. And then we took those buildings down to both kind of construct the Student Recreation Center, as well as Mountaineer Hall.
Dave Blanks: Gotcha.
Matt Dull: So, yeah.
Dave Blanks: Interesting. Well any other updates for today, Matt?
Matt Dull: I think that's really the updates. Still progressing on demolition for Justice Hall, so we'll give more updates as we get closer and get really into the summer, with that demolition starting in June. But yeah, that's progressing as well. Plans on that decommissioning of Justice Hall are underway. So.
Dave Blanks: Awesome. What's the website?
Matt Dull: Website as always, www.appstate.edu/future.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, check it out. Well, Matt, thanks for your time. I really appreciate it.
Matt Dull: Absolutely. Thanks for having me back.
Dave Blanks: We will do it again.