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Campus Center Expansion, Other Projects Planned

April 28, 2010

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Rendering of Campus Center expansion

A multi-year expansion and renovation of the Campus Center begins after commencement with improvements to the entry and lobby. This project will take the Ballroom and Assembly Hall off-line from May 17-Nov. 1. Access will be rerouted through the ground level entrances.

The University is gearing up for major improvements to its facilities, starting this summer with the renovation of the Campus Center entryway and lobby.

The Campus Center project is just the first phase of a planned $75 million expansion of the facility and one of a wide range of projects designed to create a campus environment that better serves the needs of UAlbany students, faculty and staff.

Together, there are more than $310 million in active capital plans, said John Giarrusso, associate vice president for physical facilities. However, the actual timing of the projects "is subject to bids, state approvals for contracts, and also with how the governor and legislature resolve the current late budget," he said.
 
Besides the Campus Center renovation and expansion, the University will soon begin two other major projects: the construction of new student housing on the southeast corner of campus and the new School of Business building. The architectural plans for the business building will be unveiled on May 10 at a news conference in University Hall.

A host of needed improvements, such as classroom upgrades in the Social Sciences Building and new windows in buildings on the Academic Podium, will also be carried out. A pedestrian mall will be created in the area around Dutch Quad.

Here is a brief overview of some of the planned improvements.

 A multi-year 50,000-square-foot expansion and renovation of the Campus Center begins after commencement with the first-phase improvements to the entry and lobby. This project will effectively take the Ballroom and Assembly Hall off-line from May 17 through Nov. 1. During this time, the front entrance to the Campus Center will not be open, and access will be rerouted through the ground level entrances. The University is currently selecting the architect for the larger expansion project. Giarrusso explained there's no structural way to build up and add another floor, so under consideration in the planning process for expansion is the space between the Science Library and Campus Center.

 New student housing is planned for the southeast corner of campus, with 500 apartments being built by Indian Lake. Perimeter Road will be moved out like a rubber band, with the housing remaining inside the road.  Work will begin this summer and be completed by summer 2012.

 A new School of Business building will be constructed off Collins Circle, across the entry way from University Hall. It will be another gateway to the campus. Site work will start later this summer. The project is expected to be completed by 2013-2014. Internationally renowned architectural firm Perkins+Will is designing the building, which will incorporate green building design elements.

 Classroom repairs and upgrades will be made this summer to Social Sciences 116, 117, 131 and 133, 255, and 256. In addition, three instructional laboratories are scheduled for renovation.

 Work has already begun on Lecture Center 3. When completed, it will be reconfigured as three separate rooms with nontraditional seating.

 New windows will be installed in Arts and Sciences, Fine Arts, and Earth Sciences buildings this summer. "There are 11,000 windows around the Podium, we will fix the first 3,000 this summer and next," Giarrusso said. The work will include the replacement of exterior doors into these buildings.

 Dramatic window well repairs and improvements will be made in five locations of the Podium, starting this year and continuing into next year.

 

The space between the Science Library and Campus Center

The space between the Science Library and Campus Center may be enclosed as part of the Campus Center expansion.

 As part of ongoing improvements to existing student housing, Tappan Hall on State Quad will be renovated this summer.

 At the Dutch Quad corner of campus, sanitary and sewer lines will be replaced. The work necessitates removing trees, and since a significant number of the trees are infected with a fungal disease, the plan is to remove and replace them with a more sustainable planting plan. "This pedestrian mall model will later be used on all corners of the Podium," said Giarrusso. Work begins after commencement, with final plantings and grounds work finished in the fall.


 Further into the future, planned projects include repairs to the water tower and the entire Fountain area, along with the window wells into the Lecture Centers. "The water tower is like fixing a giant thermos," said Giarrusso, adding the water tower provides water pressure throughout the campus, including the dormitories. The work is scheduled to start some time in 2012-2013.

 Athletic field repairs and improvements are planned, including relocating the football field to a location next to the SEFCU Arena so that someday a larger vision for an athletics plaza can be realized. Once relocated, the number of lanes on the track will be expanded from seven to nine to meet NCAA standards. Design work will begin in 2010.

 The Data Center between Fine Arts and Arts and Sciences will be relocated to Service Building C off Fuller Road. Work will start in 2011, and be completed by 2014.

 Service Building "A" and the Grounds Building will be renovated to address deferred maintenance needs and to permit the remodeling of Service Building "C" for the Data Center and eventual repurposing of the old Health Center building. The work begins in winter of 2010-2011, with completion anticipated by 2013.

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Carol Whittaker
UAlbany Faculty

"We have to make sure people have long, healthy lives so they can be happy and productive for their families and their countries."

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