Facilities Services is organizing a large-scale restructuring of some of Geneseo’s underground infrastructure over the next two years. The renovations will cause Sturges Quad to close between August 2017 and August 2018. Repairing Sturges Quad will entail several updates to various operations, according to Associate Director of Facilities Planning & Construction David Norton.
“That is a project that involves operating on our underground electrical system, our steam systems, some of our sanitary and storm sewers and some waterlines, as well as putting in new underground infrastructure for telecommunications,” he said. “We’re in the very end of the design phase and the project is anticipated to be bid on in December of this year for construction to start in March or April of 2017.”
The project is estimated to cost $10 million and is funded by the State University Construction Fund, per an article published on Geneseo’s website.
Facilities Services is continuing a second phase of its efforts to modernize Geneseo’s underground infrastructure, Norton said.
“About two years ago, we ended up putting in one leg of our underground electric system, and that went from Clark [Service Buildings] all the way up College Drive and then over to Bailey,” he said. “This project is filling in the second half of that same circuit because this is a loop system, so you have a feed that comes up and services buildings and then goes right back down.”
The closure of Sturges Quad is likely to cause some changes in student habits next year, according to Director of Student Life Charles Matthews.
“It’s going to affect how you access the Knight’s Spot and CAS business offices and anything in Sturges,” he said. “So for a year, it’s going to be inconvenient as far as having to walk around buildings. People aren’t going to be able to paint the tree. People aren’t going to be able to take pictures of the Seuss Spruce.”
Before the most recent work, the underground utilities have largely been untouched over the past few decades, Norton said.
“The electrical system is 50 to 60 years old, the steam system that’s in the Sturges Quad is 60 years old,” he said. “If any one of those had failed … there would be six or seven buildings that would be affected that wouldn’t have heat. These underground utilities aren’t really very glamorous because you don’t get a nice shiny building at the end, but without these improvements, then our nice shiny buildings won’t be working.”
Although construction is planned to end on Sturges Quad by August 2018, there could be factors that lengthen the process, according to Norton.
“Things that don’t come into account are rain days,” he said. “There could be a week’s worth of rain over a three-week period and the schedule could be extended further. There’s always contingencies of unforeseen conditions, stuff that’s out of our control during construction.”
The closure of Sturges Quad, while inconvenient, will be beneficial in the long run, Matthews said.
“I think the college is constantly looking to improve and stay modern,” he said. “Whenever we do that, there are going to be growing pains. As we take a campus that was built over a 100 years ago with buildings that are 50 years old, we’re going to have times where we have to not use something in order to make it better in the long run.”