PSU invests R&R dollars in campus-wide improvements

  Tuesday, August 14, 2018 8:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Deferred maintenance

Pittsburg State has been investing state allocated funds in campus-wide improvements this summer, with the most recent starting Monday at Axe Library — the academic hub of the university. 

The projects are paid for with funds known as R&R dollars — funding provided by the Kansas Legislature and intended solely for the purpose of rehabilitation and repair of buildings and infrastructure at state universities. 

“It’s a big effort on campus and requires many partnerships, from Physical Plant Building Trades and Custodial Services, to general contractors, to the academic departments and folks impacted by the construction,” said Lindell Haverstic, University Architect and Director of Facilities Planning & Design. “The work may not always be visible, but ensuring our buildings are taken care of so that students can learn and faculty can teach is an important part of university life.” 

The largest project this year is a roof overlay on the Kansas Technology Center. The building spans 278,700-square feet (the length of two football fields and the width of 1.5) and houses the College of Technology. 

Protecting its contents and occupants is important, Haverstic noted. The building includes close to 70 technical labs and approximately $26 million dollars-worth of equipment secured through donation, equipment loan, or purchase. 

Mid-America Roofing has been working to install the overlay, designed to extend the service life of the existing roof, at a cost of $426,000. The project is expected to be close to completion on Saturday, weather permitting, Haverstic said. 

Also underway is the replacement of three miles worth of sealant on the concrete wall panels at the KTC. 

That project, being done by Mid-Continental Restoration Co., carries a cost of $190,000, and is meant to address water and air infiltration issues. Haverstic anticipates the project will be finished in late August. 

Mid-Continental recently wrapped up a $35,000 contract to repair, repoint, clean masonry, and rebuild failing corners at Tanner Hall, a residence hall built on the northeast side of campus in 1954 and renovated in 2011. J.B. Turner & Sons also recently completed a $131,000 roof replacement project at Tanner. 

Phase III of the renovation project at Axe Library just began on Monday. In the Spring, the university celebrated the completion of Phase II, which included a renovated third floor. The next steps are to replace leaking exterior windows and create new study, presentation, and classroom spaces in the basement. That work, expected to cost $866,000, will be done by Benchmark Construction in Eudora, Kansas. 

In the planning stages is a boiler replacement project at the KTC. The project will improve heating efficiencies and protect the infrastructure, Haverstic said. 

Earlier this year, $49,000 worth of life safety upgrades were completed across campus, which included the upgrade of existing fire alarm panels to reduce outages, improve monitoring, and streamline response. 

About R&R funding 

State universities make capital improvement requests of the Kansas Board of Regents, which since 1997 has overseen the Educational Building Fund. Established with a “Crumbling Classrooms” bond note that was paid in FY12, state universities requested that funding continue for the rehabilitation and repair of buildings and infrastructures on campuses.  

In FY15, an allocation was made of $35 million. That amount was reduced to $29 million in FY16 and to $32 million in FY17, with the expectation that the full $35 million be available for FY18 and beyond. 

The project lists are reviewed with the Joint Committee on State Building Construction as required by state statutes.