Minnesota State University, Mankato’s campus is getting a facelift this summer.
New construction and renovations are happening all over campus. For those who have been around campus already this summer, the construction is pretty hard to miss. Many of the roads coming to and around campus have detours or orange cones blocking them.
These construction projects are part of the ongoing maintenance of the campus.
“We are always looking at annually doing some sort of parking lot and street maintenance,” said Nathan Huettl, Planning and Construction Director. “This is just a part of the upkeep.”
Huettl said that the roads under construction haven’t been repaired since 1990 and that the recent construction and bus traffic have deteriorated them to the point where they needed fixing. Both South Road and West Road will be getting a rehabilitated pavement surface, while West Road will also be getting some storm sewer work done to alleviate some draining issues for people who live downhill to the west side of campus.
Parking Lots 18 and 19 will also be repaved with an additional storm sewer drain included for Lot 18. Work on Stadium Road started this week; construction is hoping to be completed before the Vikings Training Camp. While not actually on campus grounds, Stadium Road is a vital route for people to get to and from campus; MSU was involved in the discussions of the planning in order to upgrade the road to it’s best potential.
While more conspicuous to outside eyes, the outdoor constructions are not the only renovations occurring this summer. Indoor projects are also taking place, the most obvious change being the renovation of the upper level food court in Mav Ave. It will include most of the original food options, but some, such as Noodles and Green, will now be split up and have different counters for people to order from in order to keep the orders flowing as smoothly as possible. Mav Ave will also have a much more open feel to it, since the food will be made and served right in front of the customer.
This renovation is the second half of the improvements that Sodexo is making as part of their food service contract with MSU, which stipulates that they must invest money to be spent in improving their dining facilities. The first part of the improvements took place this past year with the renovation of the lower level food court in the CSU.
Other indoor projects include: window replacements in D-Hall in residential life, painting in Armstrong and Pennington Hall, carpet replacement in Armstrong and library, replacing carpet with tile in Ford Hall and Wigley Administration building, and a new heating and cooling system in the racquetball courts in Pennington. Most of these are changes you wouldn’t notice or see unless you were in the immediate area a lot, said Huettl.
Another project that has been ongoing since November 2016 is the replacement of all lights across campus to energy efficient, LED lights. This is a part of the Guaranteed Energy Savings Project that MSU is involved in, which is a project to make campus as efficient as possible when it comes to reducing energy costs.
“They are construction sites and it’s exciting to see the campus improving,” said Huettl. “We keep working on it and keep things better for you guys.”
Bigger projects are being looked into, including a redesign of Armstrong Hall, a new College of Business building, renovations for athletics, and a new football stadium, according to Huettl. These projects are on the “long range horizon” and wouldn’t occur in the near future, says Huettl, but would be in planning for the next five to ten years.