HAYS, Kan. -- Wiest Hall's annex
will start to crumble later this month as part of a series of construction and
renovation projects around Fort Hays State University's campus.
The demolition, which is under
contract and set to begin next week, was scheduled to begin last week, said
Dana Cunningham, director of facilities planning, but last minute inspections
resulted in the discovery of additional asbestos. The annex has been unoccupied
for many years and is not in good condition. The roof leaks and the heating and
air conditioning systems are substandard. The longer-term look at the site
showed that the annex wasn't worth saving.
"To remodel it, we'd probably
lose 70 percent of it anyway to cost, so it wasn't worthwhile to keep it,"
The annex will be completely gone by
the end of the summer. A conceptual master plan demonstrated how new
construction could be completed while maintaining the residential tower's
occupant and parking capabilities for the time being. However, that will eventually come down as well.
"The best scenario for that is
probably to remove it and rebuild a new concept of housing that people really
want to live in," said Cunningham.
FHSU's Quad is also under
construction. A service tunnel lid replacement has left the sidewalk between
Picken Hall and Sheridan Hall unusable for the summer.
"In that area, the sidewalk and
tunnel were two different elements," said Cunningham.
The old lid will be removed and the
walls of the tunnel raised about a foot. The new lid will become part of the
sidewalk, which will be realigned to accommodate the changes.
Other residential buildings are
being renovated and the former Agnew site will present a brand new housing
option for students. Building one of Tiger Place Apartments will be complete
and ready for occupants by Aug. 1. The furnished, suite-style apartments will
consist of four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a commons space with room for a
kitchenette. Plans for building two are in the design phase, and construction
is slated to begin this summer. The building will sit on the southeast corner
of the Agnew lot, and should be ready for students in Aug. 2013.
McMindes Hall will also get a
facelift this summer. The windows of the east wing will be replaced, including
all residential rooms, central lounges, first floor lounges and office spaces.
"This fall we'll bid the west
wing, and hopefully we'll be doing that next summer and finish the building
next summer," said Cunningham.
Slight remodeling is ongoing within
McMindes as well. The physical plant crew is working on remodeling the small
lounge spaces in the student room areas. These rooms, known as "ironing
rooms" when the building first opened, are no longer used for such
purposes, so the walls will be realigned with the hallways and will be
converted to resident rooms. That project is set to be complete by fall 2012.
Renovations on the Tiger's Den, in
the basement of Custer Hall, are nearing completion. The new space will feature
a meeting room, recreational room, media room, kitchen, laundry facilities and
restrooms. Remodeling is to be complete by July 1 at the absolute latest.
"It (the Tiger's Den) was
largely constructed for the KAMS students, but other folks in student
residential life can use that as well," said Cunningham.
Finally, an extension to Dwight
Drive has passed inspection and will be open to traffic in June. Dwight Drive
runs northeast and east through the residence hall area. The extension ends in
a connection to Gustad Drive, which leads to Cunningham Hall and Gross Memorial
Academic buildings are also being
renovated this summer. Cunningham Hall's central corridors are receiving new
paint, floor tile, ceiling tile and grids, and new lighting. The project is to
be complete in August.
Rarick Hall is in the first phase of
a mechanical system improvement. The second floor is the focus this summer,
replacing VAV boxes, which are related to the air systems. The second phase of
the project is set to be complete in summer 2013.
"There's enough work to do at
each floor level at two and three that we can't do that much work and be that
disruptive in one summer, so we're breaking it into two summers," said
Cunningham. "The first floor will probably be done as one summer project
because there's simply fewer pieces of equipment to replace on that
A project for an indoor practice
facility at Lewis Field has been awarded, and a pre-construction meeting
scheduled for this week. Construction is set to begin in June and be completed
in April 2013. The facility will have of a 55-yard artificial--surface football
field with one end zone, a strength training room and two team meeting rooms.
"The facility is for use by all
outdoor sports: football, soccer, baseball, softball, and all those folks will
be using the facility when it opens," said Cunningham.
Some projects planned for campus are
still in the early stages, including the Center for Network Learning. Schematic
design for the new building is complete and is now in the design development
phase. The goal is to place the project out for bids by the end of this year
and start construction in early 2013, said Cunningham. A site for the building
has been selected west of Tomanek Hall. The structure will sit on part of
Tomanek's parking lot and also on the west side of the stream bed.
Cunningham said the plan is not to
"fill in" the stream bed. The building, he said, "will
physically be a bridge."
Also in the planning stage is the
University Wind Energy Project. An application for the project was submitted to
Ellis County Planning last week and will likely be on the agenda in late June
for a hearing, said Cunningham.
Facilities Planning also selected a
company to develop a campus master plan, a project will start this summer and
take about a year to complete.
"It's a document which kind of
outlines a strategic plan for physical development of the campus for the next
10 years," said Cunningham. "It talks about things like where we
might site new buildings, buildings that might be removed, utility
improvements, vehicle circulation patterns, pedestrian patterns, bicycle
patterns, space utilization and buildings. It's a pretty comprehensive
document. It's our first one in about four years."