Friday, May 20, 2011

Under Construction: Work Continues on New Facilities, Parking Lot Renovation Plan Begins 3-29-2011

The new internet technology center is relocating to the first level.

by Jeff Fox

    As the winter weather begins to break and temperatures warm, there will be more than just grass sprouting up at WVU Parkersburg. As reported earlier, several noteworthy projects will begin this spring on the main campus, while work continues to progress on several other ongoing projects.  The following is an update on some of those projects.
    Work continues on the Internet Technology center move at the WVU Parkersburg main campus. The IT center is relocating to the first level and the new location will provide for a more spacious service area. “The work on the new IT center is about 50% complete,” WVU Parkersburg Facilities and Grounds Director Dave White said. Much of the construction is being self-performed by WVU Parkersburg maintenance personnel, but several parts of the project have been subcontracted. The climate control system for the main server control room and the necessary electrical feeds were subcontracted to outside companies. An outside contractor will also be installing a state-of-the-art fire suppression system in the main server control room.
    Plans for the theatre renovation have also cleared several hurdles; school officials have been reviewing architectural specifications and are beginning to select some of the colors and materials, which will be used in the theatre area renovation. Plans call for the project to go out for bid in April, followed by general contractor selection, and work is scheduled to begin on or near May 23. This start date will allow the theatre to still be used as a student staging area for Spring graduation ceremonies. “We really don’t have another space big enough to do that,” White said.  The job will hopefully be completed before the beginning of the fall 2011 semester.
    The Applied Technology Center and the Child Development Center will be going out for bid in early April. General contractors will have approximately a month to calculate and submit their bids. A ceremonial ground breaking will take place this spring, followed by the placement of signs displaying project information. The actual work on the two structures is expected to get underway in early June. Realistically the ATC may be ready for use for the fall 2012 semester.
    Workers are also busy at the new WVU Parkersburg downtown campus. Work on the building’s electrical system upgrade is nearly complete. The completion of the electrical work will allow for the elevator installation to begin within the next several weeks. Work is also continuing on the building’s façade, with new windows and louvers already installed on the second-story level, and the windows, doors and other building materials for the ground floor having been ordered. The brick facing on the second story of the building has been acid pressure washed and any faults in the brick have been repaired.  A new roof for the building is out for bid, and once awarded, a new roof should be in place by July. At that point, work can move forward on the interior room construction.
    By virtue of the downtown Parkersburg project, the college is now “involved with sustainability and renovating an almost hundred-year-old structure,” White said. White has been invited to attend a national conference, which deals with the Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfield’s program, which partially aims to revitalize existing structures and therefore reduce a project's environmental impact.
    Several small jobs have also been completed at the WVU Parkersburg Jackson County campus. These improvements include the repaving and restriping of the parking lot, the construction of a new mathematics lab, and new furniture for the largest classroom and the student lounge. “We’re putting some dollars down there, which we should, and just trying to maintain what we have,” White said. Enrollment remains strong at the WVU Parkersburg Jackson County campus due to displaced workers, returning veterans, and students looking to save some money as they start their college careers.
    WVU Parkersburg officials continue to plan for the repaving and restriping of the East parking lot at the WVU Parkersburg main campus. At present, all monies collected from the student parking fees and tickets go directly into a designated fund to improve the parking lots and their safety. Regarding the time frame for paving the East lot, “We’ll just have to see if we collect enough dollars to make that happen this year,” White said. Plans also call for some of the money to be spent on two new emergency help kiosks, which will be located behind the Caperton Center and at the Jackson County campus.    

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