Friday April 20, 2012

Hard Hat Time

Just as students leave for the summer, the University brings out the jack hammers. The library and Science Center will see major improvements.

By May, cranes and construction workers will be an increasingly common sight at the University of Dayton, where nearly $30 million of new construction projects will be in full swing. 

Here's what's moving from drawings to bricks and mortar:

• $8 million to begin a proposed $20 million modernization of the Science Center.  During the next two summers, the Science Center will receive new windows, air conditioning, ceilings, lighting and a roof screen. As part of the project, the pendulum in the Science Center will be stopped the week of May 7. The frame of the pendulum will be removed, so the windows in the stairwell can be replaced. The huge pendulum will be restarted later in the summer. In the following phase, classrooms and laboratories will be renovated, including technology upgrades. Finally, an approximately $9 million high-tech science lab addition is expected to be added during the next three to five years.

• $6.1 million of a $12 million project to dramatically improve the outer façade, address infrastructure needs and transform Roesch Library into a modern learning center with more spaces for students to study and greater electronic learning tools. This summer, all the windows will be replaced, and a brick veneer will cover the familiar pebbled concrete panels.

• $4.7 million to renovate the fifth floor of the 1700 South Patterson Building for nonstructural materials labs for the University of Dayton Research Institute and to begin to begin replacement of outdoor wall tiles.

• $3 million for the final phase of a $10 million renovation of Campus South apartments. The residential facility will receive new bathrooms, a spacious lobby and comfortable student lounges as well as apartment upgrades.

• $2.3 million to complete the final phase of the $7.1 million Cronin Athletics Center, which has been totally constructed through private gifts. The basketball practice facility will be air conditioned, and new training facilities and locker rooms are on tap.

• $1.6 million for a facelift for the College Park Center. Stone elements will be added to the façade, the roofline will be softened and the yellow bricks are currently being stained red — each one individually. Base coat staining began the first week of April.

• $1.5 million to construct four houses on Lowes Street and install a pre-fabricated one on Rogge Street. All will be certified as green buildings.

• $1 million to replace roofs on the University of Dayton Arena, Albert Emanuel Hall and Alumni Hall.

In addition, the 390 seats in Boll Theatre will be replaced, ongoing renovations are slated for houses in the student neighborhoods, and pavers in need of repair will be replaced — the usual flurry of work that's conducted during the summer months when fewer students are living on campus.

University officials have awarded the work to five local contractors, Ferguson, Miller-Valentine, Messer, Rixco and Danis.  The latest renovations are part of a six-year capital improvement plan that ties to the University's strategic plan. The University is using a combination of operating funds, bonds and private support to fund the projects.  Typically, the University invests an average $30 to $35 million annually in capital improvements.

The Caldwell Street Apartments, a $25 million apartment-style residential development along six acres of Brown and Caldwell Streets, is rapidly wrapping up and will be ready for occupancy by 400 students in August.

By 2013, the $51 million GE Aviation Dayton Electrical Power Research Lab on eight acres on River Park Drive will be operational. The research center will be the University's first LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building.

The projects are all part of the University of Dayton's master plan. For more information, see

Contact Beth Keyes, vice president for facilities management, at 937-229-3769.