Campus Construction Update, August 5, 2019
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Matt Dull shares updates concerning construction projects on Appalachian's campus, including all the finishing touches for the new parking deck slated to open Aug. 14.
Dave Blanks: Hey, folks. This is Dave Blanks from University Communications, and we are back once again with a Campus Construction Update. Matt Dull is back in the house. Hello, Matt Dull.
Matt Dull: Hello, hello. Good to be back.
Dave Blanks: It's good to have you back, man. It's been a few weeks. We've taken a break over the summer, and now we're back in the saddle and I know there are plenty of updates, if you want to jump right into them.
Matt Dull: Yeah, we can jump right into them. There's ... updates are kind of the same a little bit right now because everything's ...
Dave Blanks: There's so many changes looking over there, though. Like, gosh.
Matt Dull: I know. I was telling someone just a few seconds before we started the podcast. I try to keep a month-by-month picture of what the whole site looks like.
Dave Blanks: Sure.
Matt Dull: I just kind of sort an old folder on my desktop. And today we were doing a conference with our whole Division of Student Affairs and I kind of had a presentation in there, and ...
Dave Blanks: Did you talk about the construction?
Matt Dull: We talked a little bit about construction, give people updates. Because even people that work on campus, a lot of people aren't over on west campus a lot. So unless you're over there or you live up on Stadium Drive or in that area, you don't really see a lot. So it was real interesting to show a couple of pictures to that large audience of oh, yeah, here's what it looked like a month ago. In one month, you can just see all these new levels as we're framing out building 200, and all of a sudden, it's like, wow, there's a building there. Compared to just what you see in the month before, it's just, oh, yeah, there's maybe some concrete blocks down there somewhere.
I mean, it's pretty amazing on a month-to-month basis, especially if you're not there and involved in a regular basis. It's pretty amazing how much is happening on a week-to-week and month-to-month basis.
Dave Blanks: Definitely.
Matt Dull: Yeah. A lot's going on.
Dave Blanks: It looks like a lot's going on. So what is going on?
Matt Dull: Exciting news. We've been talking a lot about the parking deck, and we are in those finishing touches of the parking deck, getting things cleaned up now. So, going through our punch list and starting to put together a punch list with all of our different campus folks as well as the architect and contractor and trying to put a master punch list together and get those things finished up this week.
Dave Blanks: Oh, really? This week?
Matt Dull: This week.
Dave Blanks: Oh, wow.
Matt Dull: It's pretty cool. It's pretty exciting.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, that's awesome.
Matt Dull: We are down to the last, really, week and a half on the parking deck. So the most significant things are finalized for that deck, literally down to the last little things to kind of clean up some paint that fell on the floor or all sorts of little touches that you just want to make sure are right when you get a new building.
Dave Blanks: Right.
Matt Dull: So that's all happening this week. We're hoping to get our Certificate of Occupancy, which means we can start using the building from the town of Boone. August the 12th is our target goal date with having an opening for that facility that week and then, students will be moving in the end of that week, on the 16th. All of our new first-year students who live on campus will be moving in on the 16th, and we want to have that parking deck ready for them.
Dave Blanks: Definitely.
Matt Dull: We've already started selling permits for the parking deck for the '19-'20 school year, both for faculty, staff, and students as well. It's just exciting to have one of the parts of the project almost checked off.
Dave Blanks: Definitely.
Matt Dull: It's pretty cool from seeing that on a daily basis and seeing it progress, and really, to have so much of it happen in such a short period of time is really cool.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. RISE is working super fast over there.
Matt Dull: Yeah. Doing great work. And I don't remember if we talked about this last time. We're also taking this opportunity to actually kind of repave and do a lot of the sidewalks and driveways up towards Frank Hall, which is just to the, if you're looking at the front of the parking lot, just to the right of the parking deck, and really kind of clean up that whole area and really refinish that entire area. So, it looks really good. I can't wait for the finishing touches to be wrapped up on that whole kind of district over there.
The nice part is students that are living in Frank and Belk Hall and using that parking deck, that area really is going to be finished up and kind of buttoned up for them this fall, which is exciting.
Dave Blanks: That's fantastic.
Matt Dull: It's good stuff.
Dave Blanks: What else is going on, Matt?
Matt Dull: Obviously, there's a lot going on. Building 100 and building 200. I guess starting with building 100, we're still trying to finish up foundation work for that building. We're doing a lot of the underground plumbing and electrical. On the lowest part of that building, we're starting some of our steel erection this week for that building, so starting some of the steel frames for the building that provides that structural stability for the building. We'll be starting that this week. So, folks in the area, as we look at this week, we're going to be seeing a lot more pours with concrete trucks and really trying to get the foundation work finished up over the next couple of weeks so we can, again, start framing that building.
We're hoping to start our first set of wood framing, again, this week, at one of the sections of the building. And then we'll be working from the section closest to the football stadium down towards Trivette Hall. So, you'll see that building kind of progress from top to bottom, kind of going from the top of the slope to the bottom of the slope, if you look at pictures on the website.
Dave Blanks: The grading up there looks very different to me. I was looking at it ...
Matt Dull: Building 100?
Dave Blanks: That's 100. Yeah, that grading looks perfect. It looks really good now. So is that a big change? I don't know if that's ...
Matt Dull: It's getting to that final elevation or final grade that it needs to be to start pouring the slab. There's one section that has ... that concrete podium is done and ready to start framing above it. That's that top section towards Jack Branch, and then, we'll be continuing down the hill to get that final elevation or final grade level for phase two and phase three of that building so we can start pouring our slab, doing a lot of that mechanical and electrical and plumbing things that we need to have under the slab. Those will be going in in the next couple of weeks.
Matt Dull: So, lots going on. We're at the foundation level, not framing yet, for a lot of building 100. You move over to building 200, we are really focusing on framing every single day.
Dave Blanks: Exterior framing is what you're talking about?
Matt Dull: Really, all of the interior at the same time.
Dave Blanks: OK.
Matt Dull: So really coming up, there's really three levels to the building and it kind of works its way up, again, similar to building 100. We're now working on level two of building 200, finishing up the wood framing in that level two. And, then wood framing really should run through the end of September, so most of the framing for building 200 will be finished up within about the first month of the fall semester for students. So, that's kind of, again, progressing to where you actually have, after that, we'll start putting some of the exterior sheeting on and start doing all your brick veneer and roofing, and really trying to button up the outside of the building so you can start working a lot on the interior when we get into the cooler months.
Dave Blanks: Nice.
Matt Dull: A lot going on on both of the buildings. It is getting to that place where it's, especially with the framing, it's going to start changing every week. When you go over there or when you look at a picture, there will be a pretty significant difference. Because that's going really fast on a ... you should see a pretty significant difference every week when you're looking at pictures or when you're going over there.
Dave Blanks: Nice. Cool. What else?
Matt Dull: Yeah. So, steam line. Just a quick update on the steam line. Stadium Drive, I think we're about to finish crossing all of Stadium Drive so that way, we can be back to a two-lane Stadium Drive before we start the fall semester, which is really important, when we bring all these students back. So, getting ready to go back and do some patching on Stadium Drive to really get it back to good shape for it to be able have all the traffic we have for ... We've got Fan Fest coming up on the 10th of August, which is a big event on west campus. And then, move-in is August the 16th. So, while we're also kind of patching up Stadium Drive from the work we've done with the steam line, also trying to get Jack Branch Road back to a two-lane road. It's kind of ebbed and flowed as we put the steam line that goes parallel to Jack Branch. It goes kind of right down the sidewalk of what was a sidewalk along Jack Branch Road. That sidewalk is not there anymore right now because we're putting in that steam line.
That should finish up the end of this week so we can actually get Jack Branch to a condition that's two lanes, that has some really basic curb to it for directing rainwater and that kind of stuff. And then, also making sure it's safe for pedestrians and safe for vehicles to drive. And we have so many vehicles, so many families visiting, so many people that don't necessarily know anything about campus, and making sure that it's as easy to navigate as possible.
That's going to be our big focus this week. Early next week is just kind of getting things cleaned up and ready for move-in. Signage for move-in, getting up good signage on where the different buildings are, how to best access those buildings. We've got a great team that's working on a move-in day plan. That's our parking and traffic folks who help direct traffic. It's also our ROTC, who also helps us a lot with directing traffic on move-in day.
We're really trying to prepare campus and prepare for this arrival of almost 6,000 students that live on campus and who need to ... not all of those, obviously, live on west campus, but a lot of those students do live on west campus, and we're trying to get things prepared for them, cleaned up, and have a plan in place to be able to navigate this year, which is a little from how we've done it in the past because we don't have that gigantic Stadium Lot, but we do have that Stadium parking deck that people can park in. So we're having to do things a little bit differently this year than we've done in the past. So, a lot of focus this year. And that'll have to continue.
As you move into future phases, we're going to have to do move-in slightly different each year, so that's been a big focus of a large team of people on campus, on how we make that move-in day experience great for students and families who, a lot of times, this may be their first or second time ever coming to campus and don't really know how to navigate campus or where to go and how we make that as smooth and easy an experience as possible for them.
A lot of folks spent a lot of time on that and getting ready for move-in on the 16th.
Dave Blanks: Awesome.
Matt Dull: So, some logistical planning going on top of just kind of the normal day-to-day construction, as well.
Dave Blanks: Definitely. Well, just move-in day on its own is challenging enough to pull off. And then, just you add in the construction stuff. It involves a lot of people just communicating effectively.
Matt Dull: Yeah, absolutely. And just a ton of move-in day volunteers from the community, from upper classmen students, from ... our Parent Association provides a lot of support for move-in day and provides a lot of man power for ... or human power to move all the stuff from people's cars back up to their rooms. So just a lot of people from our parking and traffic and police and ROTC, and so many people involved in making move-in a success. So everyone's kind of gearing up to welcome our new first-year class who will be moving in on campus.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, definitely. Wishing everyone luck and thanks to everyone for volunteering, for sure.
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: What else going on, man? That's a lot.
Matt Dull: I think it was the biggest thing ... that's a lot going on. Of course, we're still in the process of planning the next phase and phase two and building 300 and well on our way to finalizing some of our construction documents to be able to get those submitted this fall so we can start building in the spring. So, it'll be here before we know it. In February 2020, we hope to break ground on building 300. So we'll have three residence halls being constructed at the same time this spring.
Dave Blanks: That's wild.
Matt Dull: It is wild. But it's good and we've got, I think, the right team to make this work. A lot of support.
Dave Blanks: It definitely seems well planned out and very supported, as well.
Well, Matt, if there are no other big updates, I will thank you for your time today. I appreciate it. And as always, what's the website where people can see information about the buildings?
Matt Dull: The website is appstate.edu/future.
Dave Blanks: Thank you so much for being here today. I really appreciate it.
Matt Dull: Absolutely.