Campus Construction Update, October 7, 2019
Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Matt Dull shares updates concerning construction projects on the west side of Appalachian's campus, including details on the construction progress for two new residence halls — buildings 100 and 200.
Dave Blanks: Hey, folks. This is Dave Blanks from University Communications back once again with a Campus Construction Update, joined, as I am so frequently joined, by Matt Dull. Hello, Matt Dull.
Matt Dull: Hey, Dave. Thanks for having me back.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, it's good to have you back in the saddle. We had Jeff and Michelle from Planning, Designing and Construction here, and they were on the last one talking about the end zone project. That was fun. We'll probably do that again. But it is great to have you back. So what should we start with today? How about let's go in order with building 100, does that sound good?
Matt Dull: Yeah, that sounds great. So building 100, we've wrapped up the Tyvec wrap last week on one of the sections of the building. So, that section of the building closest to the stadium, it had a lot updates on that area, a lot of progress moving forward. But that section, that's the farthest along section. So started installing of the window frames in one section of that building last week, and we'll continue that for the next week or two. Roof installation has begun on that section as well. Finishing our plumbing rough-ins, fire sprinkler rough-ins, so that section is kind of moving along pretty parallel with our updates on building 200. It's really just maybe a week or so behind where building 200 is, that one section of building 100. And building 100, it's a much larger building than building 200, much larger footprint. So you when you move down the hill, there's progressively further back in the schedule. So again, on schedule, but because it's a bigger building, it takes a lot more time to accomplish each of the different trades there.
Dave Blanks: Well, was the start staggered? I can't remember.
Matt Dull: No, they really started about the same time.
Dave Blanks: OK.
Matt Dull: Now, around building 100, there's a lot more, kind of, underground utility things we had to work around, some deep stormwater. Some of that stuff had to go on first, doing some demo of some of the old stormwater system and old utility systems and putting in the new systems. So that kind of happened first, before we could really start going in and actually putting in geopiers and foundation for building 100.
Dave Blanks: The rigid inclusion piers.
Matt Dull: Those rigid inclusion piers.
Dave Blanks: OK.
Matt Dull: Yeah, so just shy of building 200 by about three to four weeks or so. Again, we're doing building 100 in three phases or three sections. So the first section is very similar schedule, that top section up towards the Stadium Lot, very similar schedule to building 200. The bottom section of that building, that's closest to Trivette Hall, is the next kind of furthest along. It's maybe about two weeks behind where we are in terms of progression of what's happening from that top section up towards the stadium. And then the middle section is kind of the last one. It's about three weeks kind of in progression behind that top section.
Matt Dull: That middle section, just to remind folks, we're currently framing that out now. It's where our offices will be. So our east campus residence life offices are going to be there. So our assistant director for east campus is there and then a lot of our coordinator staff. We're also relocating our office where students can get keyed in to their room to pick up packages. So all of that's being moved into building 100, so that's being framed out right now.
Dave Blanks: OK. Where are those now?
Matt Dull: They're over in Coltrane, in the bottom floor of Coltrane. And it's just eventually Coltrane, as a part of this plan, is not going to be here anymore, so we had to do some replacement of that space. And this will be nicer space. It'll be very similar, folks, who've been to App Hall, Appalachian Hall, next to kind of Summit Hall and Cone Hall. Appalachian Hall is that kind of L-shaped brick building right there, right across from Sanford Hall. And that building on that bottom floor is a very similar setup. It's got a work room for our resident advisors, our RAs. Getting ready for their programming they're doing on the floors in each building. It's got our offices for our coordinators, so those are the folks who are working with hall staff and kind of managing each of our buildings on campus, RAs, our RDS, our residence hall directors. So it's kind of a central hub for all of the things res. life, residence life. On east campus is App Hall and then on west campus will be this building 100 piece and that kind of ground level, there's three ground levels to the building, but the ground level that's parallel to Stadium Drive.
Dave Blanks: The middle level.
Matt Dull: Yeah, the middle level. And that middle level really is kind of the main lobby area of building 100, where students would go into. It's got the kitchen for the building. It's got kind of the lobby, the laundry area, this key and package office. So it's—
Dave Blanks: Yeah, the street level.
Matt Dull: Yeah. It's that street level entrance that's got that central hub for all of the things that students need. And it's going to be kind of that central hub for all of west campus residence halls. So that'll be a—
Dave Blanks: Well, Coltrane wasn't designed to do that.
Matt Dull: And that ... right. This is a change in how residence life works on college campuses. And it also, it's a lot more efficient to run kind of one package center, for example, for 3,000-some beds than it is to have a separate one in each building. Same thing, this is kind of our, kind of all day, all night kind of office that's open for students that have issues or need to get keyed in to their room because they lost their key or somebody locked them out. To have more centralized spaces for that instead of trying to manage that on every single building is kind of our model that we've moved into a few years ago.
Matt Dull: So, yeah. So that'll be that central hub for residence life over on west campus. This building 100 too, which we're framing out one of them and the other one is actually framed, are two large multipurpose rooms, which is really going to be nice. It's similar to some of our rooms that you might find in the student union. It's really set up kind of classroom-style. So it will have the built-in technology in the rooms, with kind of a podium, so you can use the computer, have your digital screens or your projector screens up, and be able to do classes in there, group meetings, club meetings, all sorts of kind of activities for those halls. So this building, actually, will have two of these multipurpose spaces in the building. So it'll be exciting when we get building 100 open, of just how much more program space we'll have for students between that office space that's really providing that central service hub for students on west campus and these multipurpose spaces on that same building.
Dave Blanks: So are the multipurpose spaces sort of taking the place of this ... I don't even remember what we called it when I was in Hoey, but like the student lounge, or is that a totally separate thing?
Matt Dull: It's really totally separate. So, when we think about how we design residence halls today, we're actually probably creating more common spaces. And really, we distribute those more within each of the floors and within each floor, versus trying to have one gigantic place in the bottom. So if you think about building 100, on each floor there are really two large, kind of, lobby areas that can be used for just kind of hall meetings. So if an RA wants to kind of pull a meeting together for, hey, friends, want to get around and game on the kind of monitor TV we got set up the lobby or something.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, like a movie night or something.
Matt Dull: Do a movie night. And then each one of the floors also has multiple study rooms, which are more like smaller group study rooms that fit four or five folks, has a little monitor on the wall so they can actually do group projects together, plug in their laptop. So this is kind of how residence halls are kind of designed today, compared to when we're were doing a lot of these—
Dave Blanks: When we were back in college.
Matt Dull: Well, yeah. Well, and I think, really a lot of the residence halls that were here 20 years ago and what most people were living in are very different. And that's why it's been really hard to think about renovating some of these halls that we've got on campus right now, the ones that we're taking down. When you think about a Eggers or a Bowie or a Gardner or Coltrane, you've got a very small amount of restroom space on each floor that can be used for just the people on that floor. But then you may have just a very small lobby area, and it's really more like an elevator lobby that's got two couches in it than it is space that really feels open and welcoming. And there's really very little. I really can't think of any real private, closed off study space in any of those buildings like we're going to have in these buildings. So there's not group study rooms in Eggers and Bowie.
Matt Dull: So how we're doing things in classes today, I think across, at Appalachian and in many schools, a lot more group project, group interaction. Our students are going to be in very collaborative work environments in the future. And we're trying to model that in our classes. And there's just, when we look at our older spaces on campus, that just wasn't what we did. We didn't have these kind of small study rooms, group study kind of spaces.
Dave Blanks: You just walked to the library. I mean, honestly, that's what ... yeah.
Matt Dull: Yeah, you walked to the library, and there you have a lot of large areas with kind of large six- or eight-person tables.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. But there were times, like if I wanted to give my roommate some privacy, maybe he had a private phone call and I was like, "OK, well, I can study right now." Now, there's a space where you can actually go that's kind of dedicated to that type of thing right in your building.
Matt Dull: Yeah. Walk down the hall and it's really dedicated to studying and not necessarily a mixed-use space for study or—
Dave Blanks: I don't have to put on my coat and my boots.
Matt Dull: ... gaming or that kind of stuff. Yeah. And you can be in ... we like to think of residence halls as not just a place that students sleep. It should be a place where students are building community with each other. So that's why you have these kinds of group, made these larger open kind of lounge spaces on each floor where they are able to kind of watch TV together, play video games, do this kind of group interaction that we want our students to have. And we all had that. I remember thinking about my residence hall experience. We left our door open. Anytime we were in the room, our door was wide open.
Dave Blanks: Oh, for sure.
Matt Dull: Roommates, people across the hall, their doorway open, and it just felt like a nice kind of open community. We were all able to kind of yell across the hall and talk to each other and—
Dave Blanks: Come visit.
Matt Dull: ... come visit and watch TV, play games, that kind of stuff. And we want to kind of create that same environment for these students and actually have these intentional spaces that are for community. But we also want to have these intentional spaces for the academic part and the studying part so that students don't necessarily have to walk across campus to the library or try to find a random little quiet space in the student union or in some academic building to be able to do studying. And we're really trying to pull it down to it is a place where they live. It's a place where it's not just where you sleep at night, but it's a place where, yeah, you can walk down the hallway and do that group project or do some individual study, find some quiet spaces.
Matt Dull: So there's going to be a lot more of that mixed into these buildings than what we've had in some of our traditional dorm-style residence halls, like the towers.
Dave Blanks: For sure. Well, looking forward to seeing that. So that's the street level of building 100. What about building 200, Matt?
Matt Dull: So building 200, moving along really well. So the roofing install is finishing up this week on building 200. We have a small section that's kind of a high roof or an elevated roof section to give it a little more architectural detail. But that, we'll start working on installing those trusses this week and then we'll come back and do our traditional kind of green, those Hartford green—
Dave Blanks: Darn it. You didn't give me a chance.
Matt Dull: Oh, I'm sorry.
Dave Blanks: I was going to say Hartford. That's all right.
Matt Dull: So those Hartford green roofs, the standing seam metal roofs that will go on the top of that raised roof section, that'll start going in next week or end of this week and in the next couple of weeks. So again, real progress on the roofing and roofing install, and really beginning to do some things on the interior to really start shaping the building. So we're in the process of finishing our punch list for all of the framing work that's throughout building 200, so that punch list is kind of, "What are the ... Oh, that was supposed to be a doorway there," or, "Hey, this wall is not supposed to be like that." It's going back and really doing a detailed look at the plans and what actually was built. And so we're developing that punch list now and all of the framing work so that we can start doing things like doing the install of our doorframes. So we'll begin doorframe installation this week and continue that for the next few weeks.
Matt Dull: We're also actively, over the past couple of weeks and moving into the next few weeks, doing all of the window framing installs. And then window glass install will continue. It really, the window glass install will start towards the middle or end of October, and will continue for a couple of weeks towards the end of this month, beginning of November. Exterior brick and stone installation will also begin this week. So at the—
Dave Blanks: That old Guildford.
Matt Dull: Yes.
Dave Blanks: And that elkstone.
Matt Dull: And that ... well, you know what? There's not—
Dave Blanks: Not elkstone?
Matt Dull: Gotcha ya.
Dave Blanks: Darn it.
Matt Dull: No. So we're using elkstone on all of the site retaining walls and that, kind of like we have around campus.
Dave Blanks: Oh, but you're talking about the lower wrap around them.
Matt Dull: But that lower wrap around the building is really more of a sand color, a light kind of beige-ish color stone. It's really—
Dave Blanks: Does it have a cool name? No cool name on that one?
Matt Dull: Sanskrit. I'll have to look it up and bring it back.
Dave Blanks: All right. Cool.
Matt Dull: I don't remember what the color name is on that, but—
Dave Blanks: Next time on Campus Construction Update.
Matt Dull: You'll find the color of the—
Dave Blanks: So that'll be our cliffhangers.
Matt Dull: That's right. So, that bottom kind of terrace level or ground level for building 200 and building 100 will have more sand color, precast concrete kind of stone-looking masonry around the outside of that bottom floor, just to give it a little more detail. If you think about, looking at a Justice or Gardner or Bowie or Eggers, it's just like—
Dave Blanks: Bricks all the way down.
Matt Dull: Bricks all the way up.
Dave Blanks: Yeah.
Matt Dull: All the way up, all the way down. And this adds a little more architectural detail. It also kind of fits in what we've done with some of our newer buildings on campus, so when you think about Levine Hall and a few of the other newer buildings on campus, just makes it look a little less institutional and makes it feel a little more residential and campus feel. And again, this is what we want people's homes to feel like and not necessarily to feel overly institutional.
Dave Blanks: I got you.
Matt Dull: So that helps with that. So exterior brick and that precast stone installation will begin this week. And, yeah, it's moving along. Lots going on over on building 200. I'm hoping to get the building dried in here before we get into the winter season. And same with building 100, we're on track to get it dried in before the real cold weather begins.
Dave Blanks: Sweet. Hey, we haven't talked about it in so long because it's done. How's the parking deck?
Matt Dull: Oh, the parking deck's—
Dave Blanks: Haven't talked to the parking deck in so long, Matt. How's the parking deck?
Matt Dull: It's good.
Dave Blanks: OK, good.
Matt Dull: Yeah, it's good. We're doing some last little tweaks or adjustments to a few things, making sure all of the wireless access points ... we have wireless inside the parking deck. So we have been making sure all of those are tuned perfectly and they're working and operational.
Dave Blanks: No dead spots or any kind of thing.
Matt Dull: No dead spots, or ones that just aren't functioning, and all those little kinds of things that once you actually occupy a building and you get people in there and they say, "Oh, I don't think this is working like we thought it was."
Dave Blanks: Yeah, You find out different stuff afterwards.
Matt Dull: You find out little things like that as you actually start occupying a space. So we've got a few little random things we're finishing up, but that punch list is almost totally done, with all even those little things we found as once we've occupied the building. So it's going well and I usually park in there most days.
Dave Blanks: You do?
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: You've been parking in there?
Matt Dull: Yeah. I've been parking in there.
Dave Blanks: What floor are you on? What level?
Matt Dull: I usually make it to about the third floor.
Dave Blanks: OK.
Matt Dull: I'm usually a third floor kind of person.
Dave Blanks: So that's not the tippy top.
Matt Dull: Not the tippy top.
Dave Blanks: All right, well.
Matt Dull: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So usually by the time I get there, the first floor or two are fairly full, so I just go ahead and get up to the third floor so I can have my choice of spots.
Dave Blanks: Gotcha.
Matt Dull: But no, so yeah, I mean, being able to use that parking deck, I mean, it's being utilized. Being utilized on game days for tailgating. So it's been, again, it was a really vital part of doing this project and have no real reduction in the amount of parking spaces on west campus throughout the life of the project. It was really important to be able to do that first. So to be able to get that done, get it on time and start having people use that was just absolutely vital to being able to keep the project on schedule, so.
Dave Blanks: Check. Did it.
Matt Dull: Yeah, so check. That's good.
Dave Blanks: Cool. Any other updates for today, Matt?
Matt Dull: I think that's it for today.
Dave Blanks: Well, man, it's great to have you back again, sir.
Matt Dull: Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Dave Blanks: We'll do it, maybe, what do you say we doing next week?
Matt Dull: Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.
Dave Blanks: All right, cool. Thanks, Matt.
Matt Dull: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks.