Semester starts with construction underway

Several construction projects are going on throughout campus, some small enough that they do not affect students and activities and some so large that they displace students, classrooms, meeting areas and offices.  

Henderson Hall, Derryberry Hall, South Patio, Tech Village, and a number of other areas are being renovated.  

Why are these projects happening, when will they be done, and where is the funding coming from to support these projects are a few of the questions Tech students want answers to.

Henderson Hall is the largest project currently under construction on campus.

“It’s just something we are choosing to do to renovate the building,” Project Manager DeLayne Miller, said. “It’s not required by the state…It’s the only building on campus that’s on the state historical register, we are trying to make these renovations to maintain the historical integrity of the building.”  

To do this, sprinkler systems are being installed and classrooms are being updated.  Henderson Hall should be completed over the next summer.  

The funding for these renovations comes from the yearly allocation from the legislature, according to Glenn Binkley, assistant director of Facilities and Business Services.  

The fire marshal is working with Facilities and Business Services to make Henderson Hall as accessible as possible to students, faculty and staff, while also keeping everyone safe.

Derryberry Hall, a high-traffic area on campus and one of the buildings prospective students and their parents see on campus when they come to visit and is also being renovated.  

“They’ve removed all the floor tile, put up new walls in the hall way…they’ve taken down all the old hard plaster ceiling, they’ve put up a new suspended ceiling with lighting,” Jack Butler, associate vice president of Facilities and Business Services said.

According to Butler, they are also changing the paint scheme and the cooling systems at each end of the hallway and the floor will be replaced last, according to Butler.  

“We try to look at what is the most exposure to the University to the public,” Butler said. “Some of it’s about public image, some of it’s about age and some of it’s about plain old maintenance.”

South Patio, one of the highest-traffic areas during the school day, became a safety concern because the growth of trees broke up the concrete and the brick work.  

“It was more of a safety issue than anything else,” Butler said.  

The plan is to keep the traditional look of concrete with brick inlays and add a sheltered area seating area with newer accent lighting in the planter boxes.  

“It’s just updating, making it more attractive and a more useful area,” Butler said.

Renovations at Tech Village West are almost completed.  Wet weather over the summer caused a delay in finishing the first phase of this project.   

“Four buildings finally complete tomorrow [Tuesday], and the others are coming up in the next couple of weeks,” Project Manager Mary Johnson said.  “We renovated 12 buildings in that first project and then the next phase of that project will be a couple of buildings that will be in Tech Village West.”    According to Johnson, the next phase includes more housing units and the community center.

“So that end of it will begin construction toward this upcoming summer, 2012,” Johnson said.

Many projects take place over the summer, but some of them are too large to complete in that time frame and run into the fall and spring semesters.  

Every project is being done for a reason such as public appearance, safety, integrity of the building, or energy efficiency and all are intended to benefit Tech’s campus.