MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

June 20, 2015

HPER facility replacement project progressing nicely

Concrete_Pump-web.jpgHave you been by the southeast corner of campus lately? If you have, you would have seen the nice progress that is being made on our state-funded HPER facility replacement project. You may recall that the project involves replacement of the 1929 Old Gymnasium and expansion of classroom and lab/practice space for Sports Management, Fitness and Wellness, Health Education, and Physical Education majors.

PCL Construction Services, Inc., project construction manager, has been on campus since April 27, when the project began. Estimated completion date is March 23, 2016. Please take a look at the accompanying photos to see some of what has been happening.

Since April 27, the Old Gymnasium, which had previously housed locker room space, a weight room, a batting cage, and office space for coaches, has been demolished. The condition of the building was causing safety issues for students and staff, so it has been torn down to make room for new Health, Physical Education, and Recreation classroom and laboratory space.

While it is sad to lose this historic building, which was the source of many good memories for hundreds of people over the years, we are happy that we were able to salvage some items that will be incorporated into other areas of campus as a reminder of this special place. The concrete “Gymnasium” sign and the four concrete lions that were on the front of the 1929 gymnasium have been salvaged. These items will be a keepsake from this wonderful structure that served the university for so many years and in so many capacities. In addition, sections of the flooring were salvaged and made available for people who wished to have their own personal keepsakes from the building.

Four_Gargoyles-web.jpgCurrently there are anywhere from 10 to 15 tradespeople on the project site each day. They are now doing excavation for new concrete footings, relocating existing and installing new underground utilities (storm sewer and water), relocating and demolishing mechanical and electrical services in preparations for the new additions that will be coming on the north and south sides of the main entrance on the east side of the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse and the addition that will go in over the footprint of the Old Gymnasium.

Subcontracting firms working on site include Park Construction (excavating), Veit (demolition), Precision (electrical), Customaire (HVAC, plumbing) Domier Construction (concrete and carpentry), Neset (surveying), and Paulson Excavating (hauling materials to and from site).

When work is completed, the HPER project will have added more than 17,000 sq. ft. of new space for weight training, teaching classrooms, athletic training, offices for coaches, and general circulation. This will be a welcome addition to our existing Lewy Lee Fieldhouse and Wellness Center.

We are very fortunate that these spaces will remain operational and productive during the time of construction. While there will be some inconvenience for a while, we’re excited for the great new facility that will result. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about the project, please feel free to contact Director of Facilities Services Dan Lorenz at 701-788-4676.