SRU completes $6.5 million summer construction season


spottss building construction workers tearing a wall down

Aug. 30, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Whew. The summer of 2016 will be remembered as one of the busiest construction seasons on record at Slippery Rock University. Jackhammers, excavators and demolition crews were a common sight as crews worked diligently to renovate academic buildings, athletic fields and residence halls prior to the start of the fall semester.

All of the work was scheduled with an eye toward modernizing academic offerings and improving the appearance and function of buildings and campus, said Scott Albert, assistant vice president for facilities and planning.

By the time classes resumed Aug. 29, $6.5 million in improvements had been completed. Major projects included a new entryway for Rhoads Hall; the demolition and reconstruction of the south wall at Spotts World Culture Building; the removal and resurfacing of the outdoor track at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium; and a pair of projects at Morrow Field House that included refinishing the basketball/volleyball court and a roof replacement.

"Like every summer, our goal is to perform as much construction to renew and renovate buildings to meet administrative, faculty and student needs," said Albert.

More than 80 employees from facilities, maintenance, safety and building and grounds crews contributed to the upgrades. Some projects are on going, including lighting and pool ventilation at the Aebersold Student Recreation Center.

At $3.5 million, the reconstruction of Spotts World Culture Building was the biggest project, Albert said. Aside from the south wall replacement, other work included the renovation of approximately 22,000 square feet on the second and third floors; replacement of windows; upgrading of restrooms for full ADA compliance; renovating an additional 3,200 square feet of classroom space on the first floor; and fully renovating the Global Engagement offices.

A $1.4 million investment in Rhoads Hall included the remodeling of the front entrance that enables students to access the building from both sides of the front of the building. The new entrance also acts as a safety feature, as the flow of foot traffic out of the building is now directed toward the sides of the building, rather than into the roadway.

In addition, windows were replaced and drainage improved in bathrooms to eliminate standing water outside of showers. Doorways to third floor rooms were widened to accommodate those in wheelchairs.

Albert said that student input was used in selecting the carpet, furniture and paint color for the building's third floor renovations. "We do a good job of trying to respond to students' concerns and allow them input into difference processes. We want them to be included and have a say. It's where they live," Albert said.

The Mihalik-Thompson Stadium track-resurfacing project, at a cost $255,000, saw the replacement of the rubberized surface that had become worn and faded.

"People will notice that the track surface was replaced and the basketball court refinished," Albert said. "Those are obviously things that will catch peoples' eyes."

At Vincent Science Center, a $75,000 project converted a classroom into an anatomy and physiology lab; a student meeting area at Rock Apartments was renovated; and a fire suppression system installed at Spotts.

Behind-the-scenes work including piping and wiring replacements and painting in various buildings, while road sealing was performed on Central Loop and steam tunnel work was done at North and Carruth Rizza halls.

Albert said summer offers the opportune time for renovation. "When is the best time to replacing piping in a building? When it's not really being used," he said.

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