West Virginia University is embarking on an ambitious building project that will remake the Evansdale campus and provide an economic boost far beyond its borders.
A multi-year, $159.5 million building plan has been approved by the Board of Governors that will give the College of Physical Activity and Sports Science its own space—it’s currently housed in the WVU Coliseum, as well as a new advanced engineering research building, a new Agricultural Sciences building and new greenhouse all on the Evansdale campus.
When coupled with a previously announced Student Wellness center and upgraded recreation fields nearby, as well as a new art museum, the Evansdale campus will change dramatically in the next few years.
The new buildings will feature with state-of-the-art facilities and bigger classrooms, and enable more general education classes to be held on Evansdale, cutting down traffic to the downtown campus.
But the project isn’t all about dollars and cents.
Randy Hudak, interim associate vice president for facilities and services, says one of the goals of the project is to make the buildings and campus more aesthetically pleasing and accessible for pedestrians. Hudak said new buildings will be modeled after WVU’s downtown historic buildings and will include stone, brick and bigger entrance ways.
“What people will see is a campus with character,” he said.
Click below to hear Randy Hudak talk about the changes to WVU's Evansdale campus when the renovations, part of a $279 million capital plan, are completed in the next few years.
New Buildings on Evansdale
Advanced Engineering Research Building
The College of Engineering and Mineral Resources has experienced significant growth in the last decade. Its faculty members are among the most productive researchers on campus. A new Engineering building is necessary to support continued growth in both enrollment and research.
This new building, called the Advanced Engineering Research building, will be 74,000 assignable square feet. The Mechanical Aerospace Engineering department will move into this building freeing space in the three existing Engineering buildings to accommodate growth of other CEMR departments. The new building will add 22,000 sq. ft. of flexible and environmentally-safe new laboratory and research space as well as an 8,000 sq. ft. clean room to meet the needs of high-technology learning and discovery in the new millennium. Offices, classrooms, computer classrooms, a learning center, and graduate student space will use 29,000 sq. ft in the new building. The building will also provide 15,000 sq. ft. of shell space, which will be allocated and built-out according to future space needs. The building will be fully integrated into the utility infrastructure for the Evansdale Campus and will have energy efficient systems.
Schedule: Completion June 2014
Budget: $41.4 million
New Agricultural Sciences Building
The existing Agricultural Sciences Building on the Evansdale Campus was constructed in 1961 and is home to the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. The College offers a full spectrum of degree programs in five academic divisions. No significant renovations have been made to the building in the past 50 years. WVU has investigated several solutions to the facility including but not limited to a partial or complete renovation and has determined that replacement is the most cost effective solution considering the major structural and mechanical issues with the facility.
A new state-of-the-art building will be constructed to house the Agricultural Sciences program. The new Agricultural Sciences Building will have 160,000 assignable square feet, which is approximately one-and-a-half times the size of the existing Agricultural Sciences building. The new building will have 87,000 sq. ft. of offices and classrooms. To support the research goals of the WVU 2020 Strategic Plan, the building will have 58,000 sq. ft. of laboratory and research space. To facilitate the University’s goal of offering more general education courses on the Evansdale campus, the building will also have a 350 seat lecture hall, two biology teaching laboratories and two chemistry teaching laboratories. The building will also provide 15,000 sq. ft. of shell space, which will be allocated and built-out according to future space needs. The building will be fully integrated into the utility infrastructure for the Evansdale Campus and will have energy efficient systems.
The project scope also includes the abatement and demolition of the existing Agricultural Sciences building once the construction is completed and the old building is vacant. The South Ag. Science fašade will be re-skinned to match the exterior fašade of the new Agricultural Sciences Building.
Schedule: Completion June 2014
Budget: $88.1 million
College of Physical Activities and Sports Sciences Building
The CPASS project will relocate the College from the Coliseum into a new facility. The new building will border the new Evansdale Recreation Fields and will be located adjacent to the Student Recreation Center, creating a wellness precinct on the Evansdale campus.
The building will be four stories with 39,500 assignable square feet. It will have seven general purpose classrooms for CPASS courses as well as general education courses, facilitating the University’s goal of offering more general education courses on the Evansdale Campus. A small fitness center and multi-purpose space in the building will enhance the delivery of the college’s lifetime activities programs. The programmed square footage is 34,500, and building will also provide 5,000 sq. ft. of shell space, which will be allocated and built-out according to future space needs. The building will be fully integrated into the utility infrastructure for the Evansdale Campus and will have energy efficient systems.
Schedule: Completion June 2013
Budget: $20 million
The current greenhouse was constructed in the early 1960’s and has not been renovated since. The facilities and systems are beyond their lifespan and do not meet the current or future needs of WVU’s research or academic programs. This project is a joint project between the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, and the USDA Forest Service.
The existing glass greenhouse structures will be demolished, but the plastic greenhouses will remain. In preparation for the new facilities, the site’s infrastructure will be upgraded. The greenhouses will have 28,250 GSF. The headhouse, approximately 9,250 GSF, will include 5,950 assignable square feet for wet and dry lab spaces, an academic classroom, an office, and support spaces. The new glass greenhouse structures will have approximately 19,000 GSF/ASF: 15,000 GSF of growing space will be dedicated to WVU use and 4,000 GSF of growing space will be dedicated to the USDA Forest Service.
The Greenhouse project was previously approved at the June 2009 BOG meeting for $5M. After BOG approval, the architects were replaced because they did not adhere to the University Design Guidelines and had inaccurately represented the cost of the project. Consequently, we are resubmitting this project for a budget increase. The scope of work has not changed, but the cost of construction is now more accurately represented by the new design team.
Schedule: Completion Spring 2012
Budget: $7.1 million
It’s no accident that this capital improvement plan represents the largest financial investment in recent school history. WVU announced the 2020 Strategic Framework for the Future earlier this year, and each new facility is designed to support the goals.
Vice President of Administration and Finance Narvel Weese said the University has been exploring many of the individual projects for the last few years. The selected capital projects were submitted to the Board for funding because they are fundamental to the success of the strategic plan’s priorities.
“We’ve been working for over a year to position the University to make these changes,” Weese said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the University. It’s not often you are able to revitalize an entire campus at once.”
Such major projects, however, are not without challenges. The goal is to finish the projects by 2014, Weese said. One of the initial steps is accounting for “operational details,” such as electrical power, heating and cooling, and plumbing.
Click below to hear Hudak talk about how the renovations mesh with WVU's 2020 Strategic Framework for the Future and the impact it will have on faculty and students.
“People see the beautiful new buildings but don’t see the huge planning effort put into all the details,” Weese said. “With a building project of this magnitude, you need to step back and think about issues in a comprehensive way.”
Architects and planners must first define the resource needs for new buildings and then will explore possibilities, such as tweaking the current infrastructure or expanding on existing resources, to meet those needs, Weese said.
“When you consider all of the construction and related jobs, the architects, contractors and other individual workers, we’re certainly going to have a big impact on the local and state economy,” Weese said.
The new agricultural sciences building will consist of 160,000 usable square feet, roughly 1.5 times the size of the current building, built in 1961. It will feature new classrooms as well as office and research space. Its estimated cost is more than $80 million.
Click below to hear Hudak describe some of the challenges WVU faces now and over the next few years as it begins construction on the Evansdale campus.
The new engineering research building will have 74,000 usable square feet and will cost $41.4 million.
The new home for CPASS will be adjacent to the Student Recreation Center and will cost $20 million.
The improvements approved at the BOG meeting on June 3 are part of an overall $279 million capital improvement plan that includes $68.9 million for previously announced capital projects such as the Student Wellness Center and renovations of White Hall. Other new projects are a renovation of the Visitors Resource Center at One Waterfront Place and buildout of office space in the Jackson & Kelly building in Morgantown’s Wharf District.
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evansdale redevlopment phase 1