Students of Chadron State College’s rangeland management program often study how the land has evolved throughout history. Now they are watching with excitement as land east of CSC’s main campus is being transformed to the new facility that will serve their program and others in the Department of Applied Sciences.
Workers from Sampson Construction have been moving dirt in recent weeks to prepare for the construction of the Coffee Agriculture Pavilion of the Rangeland Complex. The pavilion, which will serve as a facility for handling large animals and rodeo practice, is the first phase of the Rangeland Complex.
Dale Grant, CSC vice president for administration and finance, said the company is completing the “dirt work” and installing the concrete piers that will serve as the strength of the building’s foundation. He expects the construction to move fast after the foundation is complete and steel arrives between Jan. 15 and Feb. 1. If construction goes as scheduled, the building will be erected before May 2013 ready for use in August.
Also, a new road will extend from 12thStreet, which runs between the Burkhiser Complex and the softball field, to access the facility. Grant said the road’s profile will be created and covered with three inches of rock. For the near future, he said the street will remain unpaved to allow for easy installation of utilities along the roadway, such as the water line, fire hydrants and electrical service. He said the college is better off devoting available funds to building construction rather than paving at this point in the process.
“It might be a couple of years, but it will get paved,” Grant said. “We don’t want to put in curbs and come back in six months and have to cut them out.”
Construction of foundation piers also will soon begin for another big project on campus, the renovation and expansion of the Armstrong Physical Education Building. Grant said construction workers plan to begin that work where the new arena will be constructed south of the existing building in January 2013.
Grant said the foundation piers on both the Coffee Pavilion and the Armstrong construction will defend against settling issues.
Much of the upcoming work for the Armstrong project will be inside the existing structure. For instance, Adolfson and Peterson, the construction manager for the Armstrong project, recently chose a sub-contractor for the demolition of the swimming pool and construction of the new floor in the area. When complete, the area will serve as a new strength training facility. Once the pool is removed, Grant said steel beams will span the area to provide support for the new concrete floor.
Mobile office units were placed near the Armstrong building earlier this year in preparation for the evacuation of the building’s north wing, which consists mostly of offices. Employees of the Armstrong Building will temporarily work in the mobile units as the wing is demolished and new offices are constructed as part of the new addition.
The third large construction project on campus also is making progress.
Grant said the schematic design process is complete for the new housing complex at the east edge of campus, dubbed Eagle Ridge. Architects plan to present design and development documents for approval at the January meeting of the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees. After approval, the architects will create detailed construction documents.
Eagle Ridge, which will replace West Court, will have 72 beds, configured in six pods with four bedrooms in each. A living room, kitchenette and bathroom shared by each pod. Grant is hopeful that the new housing will be ready for use in fall 2014.
He said revenue bonds, which will pay for the project, recently went public with an average 20-year rate of 2.72 percent.
—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services