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Campus projects moving along: An update on the Dunn Center, Govs Stadium, Student Recreation Center and McCord

As Physical Plant Director Ben Pratt tracks campus improvement projects, he lists things like the replacement of APSUs track and football field as one line item. Then each project is broken down on a separate sheet into steps. The turf and track replacement has 44 steps. When you consider that the Physical Plant has more than 100 projects on its master list, one thing is certain: No one there has time to play a few rounds of computer Solitaire.
As Physical Plant Director Ben Pratt tracks campus improvement projects, he lists things like the replacement of APSU's track and football field as one line item. Then each project is broken down on a separate sheet into steps. The turf and track replacement has 44 steps. When you consider that the Physical Plant has more than 100 projects on its master list, one thing is certain: No one there has time to play a few rounds of computer “Solitaire.”

In fact, it's difficult to find a vantage point on campus where you don't look out and see at least one Physical Plant member at work.

“We had more than 100 projects on the schedule this summer by the first week of June,” says Pratt, “and we are completing them as fast as we can.”

Among the finished projects the Physical Plant was involved in this summer were the construction of Austin's Diner, which opened Monday, Aug. 23, the completion of the University signage project, the paving of the Archwood lot and a portion of the McCord lot and the lining of Clement/Claxton Drive.

Major ongoing and upcoming projects include:

1.) Dunn Center's 30th anniversary improvements. The Dunn turns 30 this year, and the University is celebrating with some pretty big gifts. The bleachers on the main level are being replaced with cushioned telescope and platform seating in the north, south and east seating areas. Demolition of these three sections will run Sept. 13-15. The Physical Plant then will perform the electrical work to support the installation of the new seating, which will be placed in the Dunn Center Oct. 20-Nov. 4.

In addition, two 9-by-12 digital display screens are being installed Oct. 7. The screens will be located above the second level of seating in the northwest and southeast corners of the Dunn.

2.) Governors Stadium gets a facelift. If you'd been kicked, jumped and run on since 1946, you'd need a facelift, too. And that's what the Physical Plant is giving Governors Stadium. This includes fresh paint on the exterior walls, the concrete walls surrounding the seats and in the tunnels; new gates; a newly painted sign outside and new tunnel lighting.

Of course, the replacement of the turf and track also are underway. At this writing, the old turf and rubberized track surface are gone, the new steeplechase pit has been completed, and synthetic field and track construction is set to begin Sept. 2. According to Pratt, the completed football field is scheduled to be unveiled Sept. 18—just in time for the first home game.

3.) Armory demolition/Student Recreation Center construction. It will be out with the old and in with the new as the Physical Plant kicks off the Armory's demolition during the December holiday break. Construction on the new Student Recreation Center is scheduled to begin March 1, says Pratt. Expect substantial completion as early as March 2006.

4.) McCord Building renovation. Construction is scheduled to start this spring. Pratt says the project, which will create a new home for the School of Agriculture and Geosciences, the School of Nursing and the Geographic Information Systems Center, is expected to take 12 to 15 months.
—Rebecca Mackey