Campus Construction Update, July 8, 2019
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Matt Dull shares updates concerning construction projects on Appalachian's campus, including all the final touches for the new parking deck slated for completion in mid-August.
Dave Blanks: Hey folks, this is Dave Blanks from University Communications. Back once again with another Campus Construction Update. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for being here, Matt Dull.
Matt Dull: Yeah, good to be back.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, glad to have you in studio, as always. There are a few updates to share, Matt, so why don't we get into it?
Matt Dull: Yeah. Lots going on over on the project site. But there are certain things that just take a few weeks at a time to work on, so the updates can seem a little repetitive sometimes.
Dave Blanks: Well, sometimes, yeah.
Matt Dull: Things are going on, so I guess we'll start with the parking deck. I mean, we're pretty close on finishing up that parking deck for this fall. We're doing those final things, so elevator installations, all the materials needed for that are on site, so they're installing that elevator over the next three to four weeks or so. And doing other things, like what we call the low voltage system. Low voltage are things like your fiber network, or all of your Ethernet network. We use those for things, not only just for wireless access points, but for things like security cameras. All those have to have some connectivity back to our central security systems. So, working on the low voltage systems right now, and all the data requirements for that building, trying to get those going in.
A lot of site work. So starting a lot of the hardscaping around the site. So site concrete, all the different little driveways that need to be ... when you're building, you've got to actually connect it back to places where cars will drive. So a lot of that work is being done now. Sidewalks, a lot of that site concrete work is going in now, and over the next couple of weeks or so.
Dave Blanks: So, for all the outdoor illumination, has that already been decided, and that's already wired? And that probably goes into, OK, do we already have these lines put down before we're pouring this?
Matt Dull: Yeah, absolutely. You have to think about everything in buildings. So it's like, how about the lighting on the exterior of the building from the exits? So when someone walks out from the stairwell, or from the elevator, getting ready to walk onto campus, how do we make sure that path is illuminated? So things like sconces that are on the side of the buildings, right at the doors. Those are in the process of being installed, so that's part of that electrical package, making sure those are in appropriate places. And that you actually have to do a photometric study.
Dave Blanks: What is that?
Matt Dull: That's where you are actually looking at making sure that there's enough light being cast down on all of your sidewalks and surfaces where people may walk from the building. And that there's enough foot candles or enough light that's being thrown on those, that it's safe to move on those. You know, people, aren't going to accidentally trip on something because they couldn't see.
Dave Blanks: Is that like an ADA compliance thing, or maybe not ADA, but —
Matt Dull: It's both that, but it's part of your building code for the town of Boone, and for municipalities and any kind of building code would have a minimum requirement usually for what the photometrics should be for that site. So there's a specific study that you do and you submit that as part of the zoning package, and part of that final approval that the town gives to say, yeah, that's an appropriate amount of lighting. That's part of it.
And then from that, you're having a mix of what's providing the lighting? Is it what we call like a cobra head. Think about when you're in a big parking lot, it's those cobra head-looking things that splash light down. So that's some option for where you get light. But really in a lot of the site that we're doing right now, our campus has these beautiful bronze lanterns that look like that old-school, old-style lanterns, those classic city lanterns.
Dave Blanks: That's what I'm picturing when I was saying, are we laying the wires, the power for those too?
Matt Dull: All the conduits going in to be able to pull the power to each one of those. So there'll be some lanterns around, they're called Sternberg, is the brand. We'll have a few of those affixed to the side of the building, towards the end of the project. Really to help it match the rest of the campus, and give it, again, the goal is to have a similar aesthetic on that entire ... but really all of campus. But this is an opportunity to really bring that side of campus more into the campus aesthetic.
Dave Blanks: Cool. Well, I totally deviated there.
Matt Dull: No, it's cool.
Dave Blanks: But that's very interesting. If anything, I learned cobra head is a type of light, often found in a parking garage.
Matt Dull: Well, not really a parking garage, but it's a big parking lot, so that [crosstalk 00:04:20].
Dave Blanks: Oh yeah, yeah, OK, the lots.
Matt Dull: The little lights splash down on the [crosstalk 00:04:23].
Dave Blanks: Are street lights cobra heads?
Matt Dull: Yeah. So our sconces might like little cobra heads.
Dave Blanks: Oh, because it's got a hood over the top of it.
Matt Dull: Exactly. Yeah, there you go.
Dave Blanks: See, we're learning.
Matt Dull: We're learning. That's part of this process, right?
Dave Blanks: Exactly.
Matt Dull: So lighting, those are those final touches going into the parking deck now. It's the hardscaping, landscaping, lighting, elevators. Other things like barrier fences, so making sure that you're creating safe spaces where people are walking and that there's enough of a barrier between where they're walking and where larger fall zones might be if you don't have a barrier. Those final barriers, are going in now. So there's a lot of those last touches, they're all happening over the next month or so before that parking deck's turned back over to the university.
Dave Blanks: August.
Matt Dull: Middle of August.
Dave Blanks: Mid-August, OK.
Matt Dull: Of 2019.
Dave Blanks: All right, mid-August.
Matt Dull: Right before classes start.
Dave Blanks: When do classes start? I should know that.
Matt Dull: That's a great question. I don't know.
Dave Blanks: I should Google that.
Matt Dull: I should remember that by now.
Dave Blanks: The answer to when do classes start at the end of this podcast, so stick around for that. What else, Matt? What else is going on?
Matt Dull: I'm just trying to think, around the parking deck, the Frank and Belk Hall are just adjacent to the parking deck, and this is an opportunity as we're having to redo the driveway back up to Frank Hall, and the turnaround, you'll be able to get fire access to that area. We're redoing that driveway at this time as well. But we're also taking out the plaza area in front of Frank Hall and at the entrance of Frank Hall, and replacing all of that concrete as well. We had some concrete there that's aging and failing, and we're taking this opportunity while we're already there, and on-site, to go ahead and clean up that area. So when students get back this fall, that whole area in front of Frank, and that whole driveway that's between Frank Hall and the parking deck is all finished up, all new concrete.
Dave Blanks: Put you on the spot again. So when was Frank built? How long does that concrete last?
Matt Dull: That's a great question.
Dave Blanks: I mean concrete has changed. I would assume somewhat, maybe not that much?
Matt Dull: And it's probably less of the age of the concrete, it's the material choice. I believe that concrete would have gone in, I hate to even make a guess, it's not really that old.
Dave Blanks: I didn't think, yeah.
Matt Dull: Frank is an older building, if I remember right, built in the late '60s, but we recently renovated Frank Hall. We went in with this semipermeable concrete, so it's supposed to help ... Concrete most of the time is a pretty, it's a nonpermeable, water runs right off of it. We were working with this semipermeable concrete that's supposed to help at least soak in some of the water and then drain under the concrete, to let some of that water go through, versus runoff. The challenge we found, as we've tried these different materials, particularly with Frank, that material doesn't do great with freeze/thaw cycles.
Dave Blanks: I was going to say.
Matt Dull: We have a lot of that in Boone. We have a lot of those days that freezes in the evening and then barely gets above freezing in the day. So water gets into that semipermeable concrete, plus we're putting in a lot of salt, that doesn't also help with the freeze/thaw cycles in concrete. So, that concrete just has not held up well for us. So we're going to go in and replace it with a different material, so hopefully we'll have a little bit longer life.
Dave Blanks: Fair enough.
Matt Dull: But you learn, you try different things and projects, and sometimes it works really well, and sometimes you realize that didn't work, and we're going to try something different.
Dave Blanks: And something that does work, in Statesville, wherever you are, may not work in Boone.
Matt Dull: No, exactly. You have to think about what works for the climate, and then what works for the use.
Dave Blanks: No, exactly. You have to think about what works for the climate, and then what works for the use.
Matt Dull: With building 100, that's our larger building, on the corner of Jack Branch Road and Stadium Drive, right in front of Trivette Hall or right behind Trivette Hall, I guess depends on which way you're coming down or up Stadium. You know, really just trying to finish up things from the foundation perspective of that building, so finalizing the rigid inclusion piers, finalizing foundation walls, so we can get to a place where we can start coming up from that building site. And adding some other steel structures and wood framing and all that fun stuff. So, building 100, again, still on schedule. It's just a little bit longer process, much bigger building, three different elevations of the building, or three different ground floors, if you will, for the building. So, we're having to do that in much more stages than we do in building 200.
Building 200's coming along really nicely. Most of that foundation work and load-bearing walls and all that's done. Doing the CMU work or those cinder block work on creating the elevator towers and stair towers in building 200, that's all going up. The steel structure of the building is also coming out of the ground, and that's in place for building 200.
And starting last week, we have begun wood framing on that building. So on building 200, already getting carpenters on-site to do a lot of the prep work for doing wood framing on the building. So we should be really seeing a lot of the structure of that building, now that we have a lot of the steel in. We have those CMU towers for elevators and stairwells. Now getting ready to see a lot of the actual framing up of the different apartments and suites and all the common spaces. All that's getting ready to begin. So the real structure of that building, it's going to start really looking like a building coming out of that concrete foundation we've poured, here in the next few weeks.
Dave Blanks: That's awesome.
Matt Dull: Exciting that when students will be coming back this fall, it'll really start to take shape and what that building's going to look like. And building 100 shouldn't be too far behind it. You can really start to see it take shape. You can really start to understand scale and sometimes it's hard to look at a map, or hard to look at a picture and say, how big is that? That doesn't look like it could be big enough to do that.
Dave Blanks: It's not so easy.
Matt Dull: I don't think that site's big enough to fit three buildings in. And when you go there and actually look to see the actual physical buildings coming up, and seeing the physical space, it really helps give you a better sense of what that side of campus is going to look like. So I think that'll be really exciting, as students come back, as we work on plans for move-in and get students moved in, as we start classes and the fall football season, to really have a lot of that starting structure in place so people can really get their head wrapped around what that site's going to look like. As we enter fall of 2020, and open up almost 1,000 beds there.
Dave Blanks: So, Matt, I know everybody's still listening for the exciting answer to the question of when do the students come back. When's the first day of class? So I have the answer. Are you ready?
Matt Dull: Yes.
Dave Blanks: All right, OK, it's August 19th. That's the first day of classes, so they'll be back before then, so you'll be like, why's traffic so bad? Oh well, OK, the students are back, that's why. So August 19th is the first day of classes. There it is. Was it worth the wait?
Matt Dull: It was. It was worth the wait.
Dave Blanks: OK good. Hey, I didn't cut you off, were there any other updates you wanted to share?
Matt Dull: No, I don't think any other big updates. Just keep checking out the website, we're still trying to post pictures on a regular basis there to give you photographic updates in addition to these audio updates you're getting through the podcast. Those will continue to come out, and that'll be a great place to take a look if you're not in Boone. And if you're coming up to Boone over the summer, or you live here, or coming in this fall, take the time to just go over to that side of campus, take a look at the project. The parking deck will be opening up this fall.
It's got a great vantage point on that top deck of the parking deck, and up high, Eggers and Bowie, kind of right around those buildings. You can really look down, it's a good 30 feet or so above Stadium Lot level. And you can really look down and see the whole site from there. So come up, if we see folks standing around out there looking out, we know what you're doing now. But it's really worth doing, it's a great view from that top deck, that top level of the deck, or from Eggers and Bowie, to look down and see the whole site. It's really exciting to see what's going on down there.
Dave Blanks: Absolutely. As always, if you do want to ask us a question, just comment on the Facebook share of this, because we share it on Appalachian State University's Facebook page. We check our Facebook very regularly. So weigh in that way, if you have any ideas or things that we haven't covered, that maybe you want us to talk about if you are an avid, devout fan of the Campus Construction Update. We appreciate you. Matt, I appreciate you for coming by, thanks so much.
Matt Dull: Yeah, thanks so much, appreciate it.