MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

May 9, 2015 

HPER facility replacement project is underway


The southeast corner of campus is a very busy place right now, as work on our state-funded HPER facility replacement project has begun! The project involves replacement of the 1929 Old Gymnasium and expansion of classroom and lab/practice space for Sports Management, Fitness and Wellness, Health Education, and Physical Education majors.

PCL Construction Services, Inc., project construction manager, has been on campus since April 27. They’ve installed the construction fence around the perimeter of the project. Their command center, a construction trailer, has been parked on the east side of the Wellness Center.

With the dry weather we’ve had the past couple of weeks, dirt work has moved along at a great pace. By the end of this week, excavating will be complete. Footings for the new additions, which will be located at the east end of the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse, will be installed next week.

Mayville State employee Tim O’Brien has coordinated the emptying and salvaging of items from inside the Old Gym (1929 building). By the end of April, the building had been pretty much emptied. The first step in that process was a great team effort by the Mayville State athletes, who helped to move all of the weight lifting equipment from the Old Gym to the west half of the Wellness Center gymnasium. This was a very large task, and we are grateful to our student athletes for their assistance.

As of Monday, May 4, the 1929 building was turned over to PCL, so they could begin their work. The steam line has been abandoned, and by the end of this week, all of the gym floor will be removed, and electrical and plumbing services will be abandoned.

No one can enter the construction zone unless they have gone through an extensive two-hour safety training session. PCL prides itself on safety and an injury-free work environment. In fact, this week the company is marking safety week on all of the projects with which they are involved.

Part of the construction contract is to salvage the concrete gargoyle figures that have guarded the main entrance to the Old Gym since it was built in 1929. These are scheduled to be removed next week. The light posts that graced the entrance over the years have been salvaged for use on the grounds at the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center.

The 1929 building is scheduled for demolition the week of May 18. This should take about nine days under optimum conditions. One of the challenges of the demolition of this building is to salvage a mechanical room which is situated under the floor in the northeast corner. It will take some extensive structural shoring and support to assure that it can be saved for use as part of the new facility. Another area concern with demolition of the 1929 building is the wall on the east side. This wall will be incorporated into the new construction, so it cannot be damaged during demolition.

We are doing our best to minimize inconvenience to our students, faculty, and staff and the public during this time of construction and progress. Wellness Center patrons are asked to enter on the west side of the building. Anyone who has a security badge will have access there. We suggest that people using the Wellness Center should park their vehicles in the lot south of Old Main.

While there will be some inconvenience for a while, we’re excited for the great new facility that will result. Projected completion date for the project is March of 2016. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about the project, please feel free to contact Director of Facilities Services Dan Lorenz at 701-788-4676.