Campus Construction Update: Summer 2018

Sidewalks and Entry Closures


Noyce west entry and north-south sidewalk closed late June to mid-August. Alternate pedestrian route through Noyce, east of RR tracks or along Park Street.

Herrick Chapel

Herrick Chapel north entry and east-west sidewalk north of Herrick closed through mid-August. New alternate accessible entry and east-west sidewalk south of Herrick.

Humanities and Social Studies Center (A on map)

Construction on HSSC continues on schedule, so that the north and south pavilions will be ready to be used beginning in January, 2019, which will allow us to move out of ARH and Carnegie into the new spaces and renovate those historic buildings. It is anticipated that the renovations will be completed before the summer of 2020.

The new south pavilion is essentially completely enclosed with the exterior framing, insulation, roofing, masonry, copper metal panels, and windows installed. That makes the space weathertight. Sheet-rocking of the walls in the south pavilion is nearly complete. Painting recently began on the first floor of the south pavilion. Tile work has begun in the south pavilion restrooms. Some rooms will be nearly finished (but not occupiable) by the end of the semester.

Work on the north pavilion is intentionally a few weeks behind the south pavilion so that workers can concentrate on the south and then move to the north as needed. Therefore, the exterior enclosure of the north pavilion is nearly complete but some masonry, copper metal panel and window installation is still proceeding. Many of the interior walls are framed, but several remain to be, esp. on the 3rd floor.

Scaffolding has been installed in the atrium so that the ductwork, lighting, and finishes at the ceiling elevation can be installed. The amount of scaffolding is the largest that many of the construction supervisors have even been involved with. The atrium window curtainwall facing Noyce is currently being installed. There are currently about 100 construction workers on site and that number will increase to about 140 as work progresses.

Crews are clearing out the construction site east of the building so that landscaping in that area can start. The construction offices have moved to trailers north of Mac field, just east of the Harris Center. The tower crane has been removed, and the large concrete base will remain 6’ underground to be discovered by some future explorer. The landscaping (sidewalks, etc.) needs to be in place on the east side of HSSC before we can occupy the building to provide access to the building from the east side and allow closure of the west entries (Park Street) while ARH and Carnegie are being renovated.

We are continuing to work on remaining design items, like furnishings, wayfinding and room signage, as well as donor recognition.

Admission and Financial Aid Building (B on map)

Construction on AFA also continues on schedule with completion anticipated this October. Both Admission and Financial Aid departments are scheduled to move in by early November. All of the windows have been installed. The building’s envelope is nearly watertight, with a few roofing details remaining near the fireplace. Upcoming exterior work to include installation of aluminum vertical extrusions, curtainwall windows at the welcome area and pitched metal roofing.

Sheetrock installation continues on 1st floor and framing is now complete on 2nd floor. 2nd floor wall and ceiling “rough-ins” continue. Stone masonry installation at the fireplace is complete and continuing on the exterior lower band. Exterior aluminum sill extrusions are nearly complete.

The steel monumental stairs and north-south bridge are fabricated and installed, providing a preview of the 2-story open welcome area. The fireplace and associated masonry is complete, along with the Douglas fir vaulted ceiling, framing the new waiting area. Mechanical and electrical systems installation is well underway.

We are continuing to work on remaining design items, like wayfinding, branding and room signage, as well as a custom reception desk, built by an alum woodworker, using reclaimed wood from central campus.

Landscaping at HSSC and AFA sites (C on map)

The Landscape Transformations Phase I project will be limited to the areas surrounding both the HSSC and AFA building sites for summer 2018. Landscaping around the north, east and south sides of HSSC will be the focus for this summer, with landscaping on the west side along Park St. awaiting completion of renovation of ARH and Carnegie buildings in 2020.

Significant features for the exterior of HSSC include purposeful and hierarchical sidewalk routes, large connecting plaza to Noyce, outdoor learning spaces, informal gathering spaces, various stone benches, both covered and non-covered bicycle parking.

Important to note is that the construction of hardscaping just west of Noyce and just north of Herrick Chapel will create challenges this summer for pedestrians navigating campus. See “sidewalk & entry closure” notes on the associated map.

Significant features for the exterior of AFA include a new, dedicated visitor parking lot south of the building with a trellis-covered walkway routing visitors from this parking lot to the entry and welcome area of the building. There will be an ornate and heavily planted plaza area just east of the entry/welcome area of the building for visitors and tour groups to gather. Employee parking and sidewalks connecting to the building will occupy the re-constructed alley-side of the building.

A limited portion of the exterior wayfinding and building identification signage will be installed during summer 2018, primarily focused on signage around both HSSC and AFA buildings, as well as directional signage to these new facilities.

Younker Accessibility and Renovation (D on map)

Prompted by both student and senior staff leadership, the college engaged an architect/engineer team to review the possibility of making one of the college’s largest residence halls, Younker Hall, fully-accessible, particularly the social spaces, given that the north residence hall complex was lacking in such accessible spaces.

FM routinely renovates one residence hall per summer, on rotation, painting, replacing windows, carpet, restroom fixtures, etc., as well as upgrading fire alarm systems and temperature controls. Younker Hall is the next building on rotation, so we charged the architect with creating both drawings and specifications to achieve both the accessibility and renovation goals.

The construction project will add a six-stop elevator, connecting with the sunken lounge on 1st floor and Stonewall Resource Center on the lower floor. There will also be a new concrete & masonry ramp that will provide entry into the lower floor of the building on the east side. ADA-compliant restrooms will be added near the elevator lobbies on each floor.

Construction activity will start after furnishings are moved out of the building the week of May 21. The renovation scope of work is slated to be complete mid-August, allowing for students to return for Fall ’18 semester. The accessibility portion of work, which is isolated to the center of the east side of the building, will continue until mid-semester, with bedrooms adjacent to the work offline until complete.

Tennis Court Replacement (E on map)

Due to a chronic recurrence of surface cracking on the existing outdoor tennis courts, the college engaged a geotechnical engineering firm to analyze the courts, particularly sub-surface conditions supporting the pavement. We learned that the uneven granular sub-base and “expansive clay” soils beneath do not meet the structural requirements to support the court surfaces properly.

We then engaged an architect/engineer team to design a new tennis court venue, along with the required sub-soil structural amendments to ensure longevity. The new court design is more efficient than the current 6-court layout, allowing for 8 courts within roughly the same footprint. Great care is being taken by the contractors to protect the greenspace just east of the courts.

Construction work began late April and is on schedule to be completed by early September. The old fencing and pavement has been removed from the site and mass excavation of soils is underway.

10th Avenue Repaving – City of Grinnell (F on map)

The City of Grinnell started on underground utility and roadway replacement of 10th Ave from Highway 146 (West Street) to Park Street early April and expects to be complete by early July. The roadway intersection at 10th Avenue and Park Street will be closed intermittently during this period. Likewise, for vehicular traffic, it may be necessary to utilize Highway 146 to access locations north of 10th Avenue during these times of intersection closure.

Highways 6 and 146 Intersection Reconstruction – Iowa DOT and City (G on map)

To improve safety for both vehicular and pedestrian travel at the busiest roadway intersection in Grinnell, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the City of Grinnell are initiating replacement of the roadway intersection itself, as well as improvements to sidewalk crossings and signaling devices. The work is scheduled to start on May 22 and continue through mid-August. Please utilize alternate city routes to access campus locations during this time.

May 21, 2018 update provided by:
Rick Whitney
Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management


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