Campus construction update, spring 2016

While the past year has seen the completion of major construction at the Sojourner Truth Library, the new student residence Ridgeview Hall and the Mohonk West pedestrian walkway, improvement projects are still underway on the SUNY New Paltz campus.

Library Renovation

Sojourner Truth Library

The major renovation of the Library’s Main Floor was completed earlier this year, and the final phase of the larger STL renovation is ongoing with work being done in areas of the Lower Level. While the Library is still moving toward a return to 100 percent functionality, the newly open space on the Main Floor is already being embraced by the campus community.

“We are thrilled with the way that project turned out,” Shupe said, “and I know the feedback from students and faculty has been terrific. Our staff did a great job overseeing that project, and the contractor and architect did great work for us as well. The number of students, faculty and staff working in the Library every day is a testament to the phenomenal results of this carefully planned renovation.”

20151022-wooster construction-1-7Wooster Hall

Wooster Hall is in the last stages of interior finishing, and has already seen the completion of the stairway adjacent to the building. The staff of Facilities Management are preparing to announce a grand opening date, which likely will be set for early fall. It’s projected that units will begin moving into the new space this summer.

The completion of interior finishing will be followed by the scheduled relocation of student services to their new offices in Wooster Hall. This will include Academic Advising, Student Accounts, Financial Aid and Records & Registration, creating a “one-stop shop” for students seeking various forms of administrative assistance.

Wooster Hall will also house classrooms, various academic department offices, including Anthropology and Psychology, and a new café. “It used to be strictly a science building, but now it’s going to be much more of a multi-use building,” said John Shupe, assistant vice president for Facilities Management. “I believe the campus community will see the finished space as transformational.”

Science Building

Progress at the new Science Building has been easy to monitor for many members of the campus community, as it is the first visible landmark for commuters approaching the main entrance from the northeast. It will not come as a surprise then that Facilities Management is forecasting that construction will be completed before the end of 2016.

That will enable College staff to begin preparing the building to host students and faculty, by moving in equipment, installing furniture and setting up telecommunications. Once completed, the new Science Building will be home to a number of academic departments in the School of Science & Engineering. It will also qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Service Building

A project to renovate the building that houses Facilities Management, Facilities Operations & Maintenance, Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), Facilities Design & Construction and the University Police Department (UPD) is advancing, with UPD, EHS and Facilities Management already settling into their new homes (Read more about the new location of the UPD).

The Service Building renovation required a fairly complex schedule of office relocations, but as the project winds down this spring (projected completion of construction is April 2016), more staff will be able to move into their new, permanent homes on the southeast side of campus. Notably, this will enable the Custodial Department’s long-awaited return to this area of campus, from its current space in the College/Shango Hall basement.

Campus perimeter lighting

Thanks in part to grant funding awarded by Central Hudson Gas & Electric, SUNY New Paltz has been steadily replacing exterior lights with long-lasting, brighter, more environmentally friendly LED-type fixtures. Shupe estimates that about 70 percent of the campus’s light fixtures have been modified to date, and work to push that figure closer to 100 percent will continue through the spring and summer.

Plans are also underway to extend this project to see the installation of more sustainable LED tubes in academic buildings, where many rooms are still lit by fluorescent bulbs.

Engineering Innovation Hub

Work on this building, which will help support new programs of study in mechanical engineering and 3D printing, as well as StartUp NY, is progressing through the design stages, with Shupe and his team narrowing down a long list of design proposals. Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2017, and the Engineering Innovation Hub is on track to meet its originally projected opening date in late 2019.

Elting Gym / Athletics & Wellness Center

A plan to renovate the outdated locker rooms in the Elting Gym has advanced to the bidding stages. Campus designers plan to take advantage of unused space beneath the main gymnasium in the Athletics & Wellness Center. By building new locker rooms there before beginning renovations on existing facilities, this project will move forward without the added costs of renting temporary locker room trailers, and the inconvenience of asking gym-goers to use external locker rooms.

Assuming no delays in the bidding process, Facilities Management is predicting the first stage of construction will begin this summer.

More information about construction at SUNY New Paltz is available online.