SRU completing several construction projects
The main pedestrian corridor that connects Slippery Rock University’s upper and lower campuses is being refinished with new concrete and other repairs as part of several campus construction projects.
Aug. 26, 2021
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — As students come back to Slippery Rock University's campus, some for the first time since the start of the pandemic, they might notice a few changes. There were several construction projects completed or about to be finished in the coming weeks. The biggest change is SRU's Performing Arts Complex, a $33 million expansion and renovation project for three buildings that was completed earlier this year. But there were other recent projects totaling more than $4 million and there are plans on the horizon for renovation to the old University Union.
"Everyone is excited that the Performing Arts Complex is finally complete," said Scott Albert, assistant vice president of facilities, planning and environmental safety. "This and other projects are all signs of growth as we continue to enhance the physical campus to make it a great place to live, work and learn."
The Performing Arts Complex consists of three buildings: Stoner East, Stoner West and the Performing Arts Center which houses Miller Theater. The PAC features a 753-seat performance space, two dance studios, an orchestra pit, a scene shop and new loading dock. Stoner West houses offices for SRU's Dance and Theatre Departments, a dance studio with additional support areas for both departments, and classrooms. Stoner East includes a black box theater with seating for 296, a costume shop, acting and design classrooms, and a dance studio.
Albert also said that the pandemic has impacted some of the timelines of projects causing them to extend into the start of the fall semester, adding "while it is not ideal, we appreciate everyone's patience as we work on getting them wrapped up."
The following are other projects that are either complete or near completion:
- There are three engineering laboratories being added to the first floor of the Physical Therapy Building that will be used to support SRU's mechanical and civil engineering programs that were added in 2019. Cost of the project, expected to be completed in September, is $750,000.
- The University is paving previous gravel parking lots that were added to the former Wally Rose Field, near the Art Sculpture Building at the end of Maltby Avenue, and near the Alumni Association Picnic Pavilion along Stadium Road between North Road and Harmony Road. The lots facilitate 78 spaces and it should be available in September.
- The first floor of Watson Hall was recently renovated to house SRU's Honors College, creating space for administrative staff offices and multiple meeting rooms and study areas for students.
- The main pedestrian corridor that connects upper and lower campus is being refinished with new concrete walkways and repaired bricks, capstones and planters. The project should be completed in early September, depending on the weather conditions.
Other completed projects include the roof and skylight replacement of Carruth Rizza Hall, window replacement and restroom renovations in the McKay Education Building, and a new ventilation system for portions of the lower level of Patterson Hall.
Separate from the $4 million of current and completed projects from the summer were the installation of nearly 350 ionization units in campus buildings as part of the University's COVID-19 mitigations. The ionization units are fitted in the existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to help reduce the spread of airborne pathogens. The $300,000 cost of the installation of the ionization units came from the University's pool of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding.
Future construction at SRU will include an estimated $18.3 million renovation to the former University Union building that will house several student support departments. Those will include SRU's new Center for Career and Academic Progress, moving from Bailey Library and the Student Support Office from Patterson Hall; the Student Health Center and the Student Counseling Center, moving from Rhoads Hall; the Financial Aid Office, moving from the Maltby Center; and the Student Accounts Office, moving from Old Main. The Office of Disability Services, the Parking & ID Office and the University mailroom, currently housed in the Union, will remain. The project, which is still in the design phase, is not expected to begin until the summer of 2022 and be completed until the summer of 2023.
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