Construction and renovation on library and residential halls

Marjan Hussein
Staff Writer

Renovation and construction on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato has been highly vibrant over the past few years and more is still to come. Currently the most manifest project on campus is that of the Memorial Library and with fencing surrounding the work site, it is plainly instinctive that one would be curious as to what is being done. Nate Huettl, Director of Planning and Construction sheds some light on both the current and upcoming construction projects scheduled.

“The library roof is a rubber roof thus does not meet the current design standards for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, therefore it is being replaced,” Huettl said. Huettl says that majority of renovations inside the library are complete and the roof is the last phase, with the new roof being put in set to have a 40-year life expectancy. 

Huettl says that MnSCU has set up design guidelines for all building constructions which is maintained and updated on a regular basis. These guidelines cover mainly essential building systems such as windows, roofs, walls and foundations.

“Anything done at MNSU must adhere to these guidelines and design standards,” Huettl said. Huettl states that there are three basic types of renovations, first is Repair & Refresh Upkeep projects that entail general maintenance of structures on campus. Second is Capital Projects which are large buildings projects & Higher Education Asset Preservation projects which are bonded projects with money from the legislature such as the library project. Finally, department or campus funded projects which are specific to a department that may want some renovation done. 

“Generally, we try to keep construction in the summer thusly we do not interfere with the university life, plus there are less students,” Huetll says, “otherwise we can accommodate construction throughout the school year with minimal disruption.” 

Huettl mentions upcoming renovations this winter such as the Residential Life project to add air conditioning and new radiation systems to the student rooms in McElroy Residence Community E & F Halls respectively. Huettl says that this project will start during winter break and is set to run until the summer of 2019.

Residential Life has a master plan that encompasses everything done in the past and what key steps are set to take place. Huettl states that the final phase of the Res Life master plan is the removal of the existing Carkoski Commons and connecting the McElroy Lobby to the Crawford Lobby. Creation of a new residence hall that will take the place of the CC that is similar in design to Preska, where first floor is public space and residence is on the floors above. Huettl says that this should bring Res Life back to the same number of on campus beds it had before the Gage Towers were demolished. 

“Anytime a significant project is done on campus to keep buildings current and spaces appealing has an impact on how people view Minnesota State University, Mankato,” said Huettl. “We receive a ton of positive feedback that is primarily states that the campus looks ideal,” added Huettl. He states that his department’s cardinal function is to provide services that includes repairing, maintain and updating structures on campus to accommodate the needs of everyone who uses the facilities. 

Ensuring a campus has sustainable, modernized and up to date structures is a formidable task. Minnesota Sate University, Mankato continues to be steadfast in providing resources to its students, faculty and staff. The diligent work to maintain the current structures plus the new marvelous buildings are simply a taste of the wonders that will brace the campus of MNSU in the coming years. 

Feature photo by David Bassey | MSU Reporter.

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