Campus Construction Update, September 16, 2019
Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Matt Dull shares updates concerning construction projects on Appalachian's campus, including progress on the residence halls being built on the west side of campus.
Dave Blanks: Hey folks, this is Dave Blanks from University Communications, and we are back with a campus construction update. I'm joined, as always, I should say, by Matt Dull. Hey, Matt Dull.
Matt Dull: Hey, Dave. Good to be back.
Dave Blanks: I'm glad you're here. So, it has been a little while. As we always say, the construction has not stopped, even if we haven't been talking about it.
Matt Dull: That's right.
Dave Blanks: OK, so since last we talked, what has transpired?
Matt Dull: Yeah, so had a great week last week. Last Wednesday night I went down to Charlotte and met with the Charlotte Alumni Chapter. Shared a little bit more about the project, some other campus updates. Just really kind of connect with some of our alumni that aren't up here every week and don't see the progress going, and maybe they haven't checked out the website, haven't listened in the podcast. And they're engaged, they're great App fans and great supporters of the university, but maybe just hadn't seen the bigger picture or bigger vision of what's going on here.
Dave Blanks: Good turnout?
Matt Dull: Yeah, it was a great turnout. Probably 30, 35 folks from the Charlotte area. A lot of excitement about the project. A lot of excitement on just about how it can really enhance the student experience. It was just so good to be with alumni and for them wanting to have an awesome student experience for future Mountaineers and have a similar experience that they had when they were at Appalachian.
So it was really cool to talk with some of our alumni, connect with them, connect with them down in Charlotte, and also just bringing them up to speed on the project and letting them see some pictures of the project, some of the progress pictures, what it's going to look like, how long it's going to take, what's going to be in the buildings. Kind of reminisce with them about what was in the old buildings that were taken down and kind of what's going to be in the new buildings.
Other than that, it was a great visit in Charlotte.
Dave Blanks: Well, I hope you encourage them to listen to our podcast devoutly.
Matt Dull: I did.
Dave Blanks: Good. All right, good.
Matt Dull: I had two kind of takeaways, and one was help us tell the story and help us get messages out about what actually is happening on campus. And the other one is checking out the Future website where you can find our podcast, and checking into the podcast. So that was kind of the two takeaways from the conversation [inaudible 00:01:53] .
Dave Blanks: Right on. Cool.
Matt Dull: Yeah, it was great.
Dave Blanks: Well, I hope they do it.
Matt Dull: I hope they do it, too.
Dave Blanks: So, do you do that a lot? Do you get to go out and and present? I know you did it very frequently before we started the podcast.
Matt Dull: Yeah, we did a bunch of presentations at the beginning, when we just kind of got started and before we started really building anything.
Dave Blanks: Right.
Matt Dull: But, yeah, we're kind of starting those back up again this fall. I was invited to the Charlotte chapter to meet there and do some presentations with them. Met with the RHA, the Residence Hall Association in Justice Hall on Tuesday night. Spending time with, there was probably 25, 30 students at that event. They want to just know more about the project; what's going on over there across the street from us? What's it going to be? Am I going to be able to live there? So it gives us a great conversation. So we had pizza and popcorn and P3, that's what they called the program.
Dave Blanks: Perfect.
Matt Dull: Yeah, so it was great. It was a good conversation. Got some great RAs and RHA members and interested residents over there in Justice. So, yeah those were two of the events last week. We gave an update to our Board of Trustees on Friday.
So, yeah. There's still two or three kind of presentations each week, it feels like.
Dave Blanks: OK.
Matt Dull: I just keep trying to keep people informed. And when you think about working with students, as well, that population changes significantly every year.
Dave Blanks: There is turnover.
Matt Dull: There's 4,000 new people coming in every year that know nothing about the project and trying to get the message out about what's going on in the project, how it might impact them, and also get the message out about helping keep the site safe; where to walk, where not to walk. They seem like simple things, but just having conversations with students to kind of bring them up to speed on what's going on and helping them feel a part of the process.
Dave Blanks: So what's happening on the site right now? It looks like a lot.
Matt Dull: A lot going on. We've got updated pictures out on the website, and building 100 is coming along. Continuing our work on those elevator shafts, stairwell shafts, actually starting to install the stairs in those buildings. Continuing to do some framing out of the building. We've got probably another month, month and a half of framing work on building 100 left. So working, get that building envelope complete before we really start the cold winter season.
Dave Blanks: Hey, it's warm right now.
Matt Dull: It is warm, right.
Dave Blanks: Yeah.
Matt Dull: It was in the upper 80s last week in Boone and for the second week of September —
Dave Blanks: Pretty unseasonable.
Matt Dull: That's pretty unseasonable.
Dave Blanks: Yeah.
Matt Dull: I'm not going to complain on the construction side —
Dave Blanks: No.
Matt Dull: Because it's been fairly dry.
Dave Blanks: Good for them.
Matt Dull: We didn't really have a lot of effects from the recent hurricane, like many folks in the state and shore and Southeast. We were really lucky here in Boone to not have that disruption and that weather up here. So, yeah. So that really has helped us. This kind of dry and unseasonably warm weather has really helped us stay on schedule for both 100 and 200.
Dave Blanks: Well, what about 200? What's that update on that?
Matt Dull: So, structural steel work is complete in 200. Most of the framing actually is finishing up this week.
Dave Blanks: So is that ahead of 100, for the framing?
Matt Dull: Yeah. So building 200 is slightly ahead. It's a little bit smaller building.
Dave Blanks: Right, OK.
Matt Dull: So it's got about 322 beds in building 200. Building 100 is almost 700 beds.
Dave Blanks: OK.
Matt Dull: Also, building 100's got some office space, some classroom space, a faculty-in-residence space. It is a larger building and a lot more complicated, where building 200 is fairly densely populated with just the resident space, not the extra classroom spaces and office spaces and that kind of thing like 100 has.
Dave Blanks: OK. So you're saying the frame-in is almost done?
Matt Dull: So framing's ... that will finish up this week, sheeting and Tyvek wrapping has started already. So that's kind of creating that outside envelope to the building. Roof trusses are being installed this week and through the end of the month of September, installing the railings and the stairwells. We are planning to begin the installation of windows this week in the building.
So, it'll really start to shape up. And then towards the end of the month we're talking some of the masonry work. So the precast stone, as well as the brick masonry, will be going on towards the end of the month.
Dave Blanks: What precast stone is there on that building? Because I know the parking deck had a ton of it.
Matt Dull: Yeah. So this is more like the bottom level, the ground level of the building. We're calling it the terrace level, has kind of a ... It's almost a white sand stucco color —
Dave Blanks: That goes all the way around it.
Matt Dull: Type precast. That's kind of that bottom podium, if you will, of the building. Give it a little more architectural detail instead of just all brick.
Dave Blanks: Right.
Matt Dull: So we think about kind of our traditional residence halls, Eggers, Bowie, Gardner, Coltrane.
Dave Blanks: Brick all the way down.
Matt Dull: Yeah, it's brick all the way up. Limited architectural detail. So this helps kind of make it fit and feel like the rest of campus, which has a lot of stonework and more natural colors, as well as the brick and green roofs.
Dave Blanks: OK.
Matt Dull: So we're trying to incorporate kind of what the rest of campus looks like into this building as well. So that's precast, brought on-site, installed on-site. And that's that bottom kind of terrace level. And then going up from there is kind of that same kind of ... I don't even know what ... it's called Old Guilford. I don't know.
Dave Blanks: Old Guilford?
Matt Dull: Old Guilford. That's the particular style of brick, or the color of brick. But Old Guilford brick will be installed kind of above that on the upper floors. And that'll match the other color of brick in the [crosstalk 00:07:01] campus.
Dave Blanks: In that part of campus, you said? Is that like our university brick color?
Matt Dull: Yeah, that's our university brick color.
Dave Blanks: Old Guilford.
Matt Dull: Old Guilford.
Dave Blanks: That's cool. Like named for ... isn't, Guilford County is in North Carolina, right?
Matt Dull: Yeah, it is. And there's a tremendous amount of brick that's made in North Carolina.
Dave Blanks: Yes, I had heard that. I don't know too much about that, but I've heard that.
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Interesting.
Matt Dull: I'm not an expert in brick, so I can't tell you too much more than that.
Dave Blanks: Maybe more on bricks later.
Matt Dull: We'll bring the brick experts the next podcast.
Dave Blanks: If you write us an email and tell us you want to hear about this, we're going to definitely —
Matt Dull: Have a podcast dedicated to brick.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, absolutely. What else is going on, Matt?
Matt Dull: Up next. We've also got steam line work continuing this week and trying to get that wrapped up in this kind of first phase, the steam line work.
Dave Blanks: They still have heavy machinery over there across Stadium Drive, I've noticed today. They had some bigger stuff, I don't know, like a backhoe or something like that.
Matt Dull: Behind Gardner, or —
Dave Blanks: Yeah.
Matt Dull: There's kind of two little parts that are finishing up. One is behind Gardener and really kind of finalizing that tie in to the existing steam line system. The steam line actually goes from behind Gardner up to the Quinn Center, our recreation center for students up on the top of the hill, up Stadium Drive.
So that tie-in is being done now, and that'll be finished up this week. And then also doing a little bit of work over in front of Bowie Hall.
Dave Blanks: OK, I didn't see that.
Matt Dull: Kind of across Stadium Heights Drive and into Bowie Hall. That's that last phase of the steam work for this kind of phase one of the steam work that's being done on the site.
Dave Blanks: Cool.
Matt Dull: So, yeah. So, that'll wrap up over the next couple of weeks, wrapping up phase one for steam. We'll have a phase two for steam, but that will really begin more next spring, in spring of 2020.
Dave Blanks: OK.
Matt Dull: Those are the kind of main updates.
Dave Blanks: Those are big ones.
Matt Dull: Those are all pretty big ones.
Dave Blanks: It's a lot. I'm happy with those updates.
Matt Dull: Yeah. It feels like when I'm giving these updates every week or two that, well, there's not really that much that's changed. But when when you go look at the pictures —
Dave Blanks: It's a lot.
Matt Dull: — and you realize the scale of what, say, framing looks like, and you really go out and look at the scale of what that looks like. Oh, that's a lot going on.
Dave Blanks: Awesome.
Matt Dull: It just sounds like these little bullet point updates, but there's a lot of work going on [crosstalk 00:09:09].
Dave Blanks: It's a lot easier to say it than it is to actually do it out there.
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, but so we're on schedule?
Matt Dull: Yep.
Dave Blanks: We're on budget?
Matt Dull: On schedule, we're on budget.
Dave Blanks: All that good stuff.
Matt Dull: Yeah, we're moving towards that fall 2020 move-in for those 916 students. They'll be moving into those two buildings.
Dave Blanks: Looking forward to it.
Matt Dull: Yeah, it's going. Still moving it forward.
Dave Blanks: Matt, we'll talk again, sir.
Matt Dull: Sounds good.
Dave Blanks: Thank you very much.
Matt Dull: Thanks, Dave.