Campus Construction Update, November 25, 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 three new residence halls — buildings 100, 200 and 300.
Dave Blanks: Hey, folks. This is Dave Blanks from University Communications, and we are back with a Campus Construction Update. I'm joined by Matt Dull. Howdy, Matt.
Matt Dull: Hey, Dave. Good to be back.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, I'm glad to have you back. It's been a few weeks since our last update, so hopefully we'll have a ... it looks like you have a lot of notes there.
Matt Dull: I've got a few notes here.
Dave Blanks: You've got some notes —
Matt Dull: It's been a few weeks, so I've got a little bit of notes.
Dave Blanks: You're prepared.
Matt Dull: I'm trying to be prepared.
Dave Blanks: I'm impressed. How do you want to start this out today?
Matt Dull: Why don't we just, I guess, start in general. We just crossed over the ... well, actually, a few weeks ago, crossed over the 100,000 person-hour.
Dave Blanks: Wow. Do you remember the last time we mentioned that?
Matt Dull: I think we mentioned around 80-something.
Dave Blanks: OK.
Matt Dull: Maybe 80,000 hours. So, we're actually up to 111,000 person-hours to date on the project. So that's between the parking deck and Building 100, Building 200, so —
Dave Blanks: It was a lot of working.
Matt Dull: It is. It's an exciting landmark.
Dave Blanks: I wonder how many we'll have by the end of the project.
Matt Dull: Oh, man. I don't know that's a really good —
Dave Blanks: You're a math dude.
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Right? Is that your official title?
Matt Dull: Yeah, math dude. Maybe when we come back in the next podcast, maybe we'll do an estimate.
Dave Blanks: Let's try.
Matt Dull: Person-hours on the project.
Dave Blanks: Pretty impressive. Well, what do you want to start with?
Matt Dull: We'll start with Building 100 again.
Dave Blanks: All right.
Matt Dull: Just kind of go in that traditional order.
Dave Blanks: Sounds good.
Matt Dull: So Building 100, we are still on our way towards getting that building dried in. So, you know, remember it's three kind of different sections of the building we're working on. So one part of the building we're doing this prehanging dry wall, so all the rough-ins, trying to finish up all the rough-in, and really getting to a place where we can hang drywall in the next couple of weeks.
Matt Dull: We're also continuing with the window frame and window installation in two sections of Building 100 right now. Those will be continuing over the next few weeks. We're also installing that precast stone and brick veneer on two sections of Building 100 as well and finishing up some of our mechanical, electrical, plumbing rough-ins as well. So, Building 100, for at least two of those sections are really coming along nicely and almost kind of dried in for those sections.
Matt Dull: That last section, that center section that we're constructing, that's got a lot of the meeting room space, and office space of the building; we're continuing to frame that section. That's that last section of framing we have on these two buildings. That is finishing up. Here in the next probably two to three weeks or so finishing up the framing, putting on the roof trusses and getting it under roof. And doing the Tyvek wrapping and really trying to get it to where it's a place to be dried in before we really hit the holidays in mid-December.
Dave Blanks: How has the cold affected work so far? Because we have had some very cold days.
Matt Dull: We've had some really cold days. The nice part is, on Building 200 for example, Building 200's totally dried in. So it really allows us ... we've got some temporary heating set up in the building, so it really allows a pretty decent working condition for people inside the building. So, on these colder days, really had to focus more on Building 200 in the interior and getting things done. We've been lucky. You know, late last week we had days in the 50s and decent amount of clear skies and sunny weather, which is nice for end of November.
Dave Blanks: Yeah.
Matt Dull: And so that's helped a lot with trying to get this framing finished up on Building 100. Also brought in some extra crews to try and get that finished up while we have some nice weather.
Dave Blanks: Just make the most of those days.
Matt Dull: Make the most of these nice 40, 50 degree days here in November while we can.
Dave Blanks: Gotcha, so what else, Matt?
Matt Dull: So continuing on over to Building 200, we've finished up, we will be finishing up the window install this week. So we talked about before we kind of go through and put in the window frames first and then do a kind of set the windows into the frames. Majority of the windows should be installed this week. We're also installing that storefront system in the main lobby. So it's kind of that nice, neat glass wall with integrated doors and everything into it. That storefront system on that bottom floor, the lobby area. We'll start the installation of that this week.
Dave Blanks: That's the storefront is ... it seems to insinuate this something's being sold there, but it's just a term used for like, "this is where your eye is drawn. This is where you are clearly supposed to enter this building."
Matt Dull: Yes, that's right. And it's those systems that you know you don't have. They're not those just little punch outs, kind of on windows like you might have in a unit that's a much larger system, usually kind of floor to ceiling. So it really creates a nice entrance or greeting space.
Dave Blanks: Greeting space there.
Matt Dull: It also brings in a lot of light to those lobby areas too.
Dave Blanks: Cool.
Matt Dull: So those storefront systems will be going in and starting to install this week. We're also continuing our electrical rough-in, and actually going ahead and doing the installation of fire alarm conduit. We're now insulating the shower areas before we actually install the showers, put in the insulation around the showers in each of the residence hall rooms. And then also doing insulation and the hallway ceilings as well right now. So, we're installing insulation.
Dave Blanks: Well done.
Matt Dull: In a bunch of different areas throughout the buildings. So yeah, Building 200, again, both buildings on schedule. Building 200, if you remember from our past podcasts, it's about a month or so on the schedule ahead just because it's a smaller building. And we're also hoping to finish up all of the precast and brick facade or brick veneer on the building by mid-December. So we're just a few weeks away from actually having that exterior kind of brick skin on that building finished up on the middle of December. So hopefully by the time students are heading out from the holidays, that'll be finished up. And hopefully when the students come back in January, they'll be really surprised with all the progress, especially on the exterior of the building. They can really see on both buildings 100 and 200
Dave Blanks: Well, it's definitely a big difference from when we started talking.
Matt Dull: It's a little bit of a difference.
Dave Blanks: Little change.
Matt Dull: Little change that's right.
Dave Blanks: What else, Matt?
Matt Dull: That's right. Just other small kind of site work happening right now. So we've got installation of stormwater drainage between the new parking deck and Trivette Circle. There's this kind of little traffic circle out outside of Trivette Hall and Newland Hall. So we're actually, right now, we were hoping to wait until school finished up, but we just from a scheduling, just really need to go ahead and get some of this work done now. And you need to do some of this while you have good weather. Can't lose some of these good weather today. So we're going in and installing that stormwater drain. It's going to go basically from the parking deck down to Trivette Hall area. Go ahead and do that work, so we've got one lane of traffic blocked in that area. Still have a large throughway that people can pass and still go down to Trivette Hall by car, and still have firetruck access, and that kind of thing.
Matt Dull: But trying to go ahead and get that stormwater done and get that site ready for when we actually move into phase two and starting Building 300. Just literally three months away.
Dave Blanks: Very close.
Matt Dull: Which is really close.
Dave Blanks: I was going to ask, three months.
Matt Dull: Yeah, right about three months. We're hoping to start construction on Building 300 December the 12th.
Dave Blanks: And 300 is?
Matt Dull: Thanks for the lead-in. Building 300 is this kind of V-shaped building that hugs Stadium Heights Drive. Stadium Heights Drive is the, used to be kind of the circular drive that went around all of Stadium Lot. Who knew it had a name, but Stadium Heights Drive.
Dave Blanks: Stadium Heights Drive.
Matt Dull: So it kind of hugs what used to be, or what will be Stadium Heights Drive, right in front of that new parking deck is one wing of that building. The other wing is kind of right across from the side entrance of Newland Hall and down towards Trivette.
Matt Dull: And that creates that last piece of that new, kind of, mall area in between buildings 100, 200 and 300. So when we finish up that building, it really will complete that Duck Pond Field replacement kind of mall area.
Dave Blanks: That green space.
Matt Dull: That green space on west campus so —
Dave Blanks: Awesome.
Matt Dull: Yeah. So Building 300 has about 638 beds. It's that mix of suite style and apartment style. So finalizing construction drawings now. We're also finalizing and should get in the proof of permits for getting our building permit zoning permit in the next couple of days. And on track for a February 2020 financial close and start construction on February the 12th.
Dave Blanks: The building inspector just has to like hang out there all the time. Right? I mean cause there's so many permits that you have to —
Matt Dull: Yeah, so —
Dave Blanks: Acquire for all of the ...
Matt Dull: Town of Boone is the authority on Building 100; the state construction office is the authority on Building 200. It's a little bit of nuance there on how we financed the deal.
Dave Blanks: Gotcha.
Matt Dull: And where the money is coming from. We've got actually state construction that does inspection and does kind of a review of buildings, and then you also have town of Boone that's doing review and inspection on the buildings.
Dave Blanks: Fire department?
Matt Dull: Fire department comes by and does inspections and makes sure we have clear passageways for emergency vehicle access, to buildings that are occupied by students, and others throughout the week. And also, you know anytime you're making a change in the fence line or changing where roads are being moved, trying to get the fire department there to make sure that we've thought of everything and that we're keeping them in the loop of how roads are changing, and how access is changing to different buildings on that site.
Dave Blanks: Absolutely. Safety is paramount.
Matt Dull: Safety is number one on any of these projects. We're an active campus and we're having to build right in the middle of a live campus. You know, where people are trying to get to class and park and do all sorts of stuff at the same time you're trying to run a construction site. Speaking about kind of this inspection, I just wanted to mention, too, we still are doing kind of continued on inspection by our rater with Green Built. So folks have asked in the past, are we thinking about sustainability when we're building these new buildings. We've gone with what's called the Green Built certification. It's from a group out of the Asheville area, actually, that manages the rating system, and we have an independent inspector that comes out on a regular basis to look at the progress of the construction.
Matt Dull: So, we just had a inspection of the framing that's been done on both buildings by that external inspector. And that inspector will continue to come throughout the remaining parts of construction to inspect how you install insulation, how you just do all the different kinds of mechanical systems in the building. And so they're going to be on-site throughout the construction of not just 100 and 200 but in 300 and 400, so that we can continue moving towards getting a certification through Green Built on creating these sustainable buildings on our campus. So —
Dave Blanks: And that is a Carolina company, you said, from Asheville.
Matt Dull: Yeah, it's a group out of Asheville that's kind of created this system and it's, there's a lot of different rating systems that are out now around sustainability and this happened to be one, in particular, that was looking at more residential. And it works similar to how we actually are creating residence halls and looking at this as a residential multifamily property.
Matt Dull: And so yeah. So it's been exciting to work with them on this project, and work with our kind of independent inspection and, you know, it's always good to have someone else come through and that is looking at everything and looking at construction from a sustainable mindset and help us think about the long-term cost of operating a building. If we can make small changes today, just small little details of how the building is constructed, where that actually has some long-term payoff really in a lot of times in some of our system's performance, how like our HVAC systems might work. Which then means that it saves both on energy use and also cost long term. So it's really great to have folks that are coming in from the outside and really looking at a project and helping us think of ways to both save money in the long run, as well as think about our energy consumption and other sustainable practices of the building.
Dave Blanks: What else you want to cover, Matt?
Matt Dull: So I think those are the big updates. So, continue again to push toward phase two and getting that started here in just a few months. And at the same time trying to keep things going on two buildings that will open in August for our new incoming students.
Dave Blanks: Looking forward to it.
Matt Dull: And some of our continuing students as well.
Dave Blanks: So if you want updates on the construction. If you want to see the most up-to-date pictures, check out the future site. What's the address, Matt?
Matt Dull: That would be appstate.edu/future.
Matt Dull: Thank you, Matt Dull.
Dave Blanks: Absolutely, thanks for having me back.