College to conclude construction over summer, plans ahead for future projects

 Construction in Sturges Quad (pictured above) will be completed during the summer. The college is looking to implement renovation projects around campus, including the interior reworking of Sturges and Fraser Halls, upgrades in residence halls and eventual larger operations for Milne Library and North Campus(Malachy Dempsey/news editor).

Construction in Sturges Quad (pictured above) will be completed during the summer. The college is looking to implement renovation projects around campus, including the interior reworking of Sturges and Fraser Halls, upgrades in residence halls and eventual larger operations for Milne Library and North Campus(Malachy Dempsey/news editor).

The Planning and Construction Office has started finalizing the construction project in Sturges Quad and intends for it to be completed to be by the start of the 2018-19 academic year, according to Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Michael Neiderbach. Following that task, the office will start assessing future renovation opportunities. 

The college plans to implement additional changes in academic buildings tentatively over the next few years.

Over the summer, the work zone will expand to include the areas in front of the Integrated Science Center, behind Newton Hall and nearby Blake Hall as well, according to Neiderbach. 

“When people come back, the quad should be open, but there will be other activity going on,” Neiderbach said. “We’re hoping to have that wrapped up by late August, but it may go on a little bit longer than that.” 

The 2018 New York State Budget allocated an additional $8 million for Geneseo, which will put toward renovation expenses, according to Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance Richard Hurley. 

“[The funds will] be used for roofs, and air conditioning systems in buildings. The second phase of the Sturges Quad project [involves] a lot of maintenance things [rather than] building a new building or renovating another one,” Hurley said. 

A separate plan to renovate the interiors of Fraser and Sturges Halls is currently in the program verification phase to decide the activities and departments that will go in the building, according to Neiderbach. The office will then move on to the schematic design phase to visualize floor plans and determine layout, according to Neiderbach.

The final plan will move to the State University Construction Fund for approval. Interior construction is not likely to take place until the summer of 2020, according to Neiderbach. 

The office is also working on upgrading residence halls over the summer, including modifying fire alarms and lighting, as well as window and bathroom renovations, according to Neiderbach.

There are also other projects the college is developing, including elevator replacements in Lauderdale Health Center and changes to Merritt Athletic Center, Neiderbach said. Additionally, Geneseo is aiming to construct a track storage facility and a utility metering project in academic buildings to measure electricity usage and increase sustainability, according to Neiderbach. For the long-term, the college is planning an infrastructure project for the northern portion of campus to repair old infrastructure and renovate Milne Library, according to Neiderbach. 

“Those are kind of the big ones we have in the planning and also active phases. Some of them are in design, some are actually in construction,” Neiderbach said. 

Students have shown mixed reactions to these updates, reflecting both approval and concern over funding. Communication major freshman Grace Sellers expressed reservations over the priorities being placed on construction. 

“It’s nice that they’re trying to renovate the campus, and some areas really need it,” Sellers said. “I’m nervous that programs won’t be getting as much funding due to the construction and aesthetic work.” 

Early childhood education major freshman Mackenzie Pfeffer said that the plans could benefit the college. 

“Sturges and some of [the buildings] are pretty old, so I think it would just look better. Some of the buildings are really cold so maybe they would work on that,” Pfeffer said. “I like that they’re doing construction, it makes it feel more modern.” 

Additional construction projects are not expected to be as disruptive as the current construction initiatives have been, according to Neiderbach. 

“It’ll have a lot less impact because, in the fall, the most disruptive parts of the infrastructure projects will be behind us,” Neiderbach said. “People have been very patient with us, we know you hate the disruption, but we’re doing all we can to minimize it.”

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