ASC ES Building remodel is underway

(11-15-2010)

The Adams State College Education and Social Studies (ES) Building remodel has already begun, without a hard hat or cement mixer in site.

Hiring an architect and design team, reviewing plans that consist of enormous pages full of code requirements, and finite details for everything from site civil engineering, landscape design, a multitude of architectural and structural details, information technology, heating and ventilation systems, plumbing and sanitary waste systems, a walk-through with tentative contractors, further review of plans, pre-ordering components, procuring moving contractors, boxing materials and supplies, finding alternate locations for faculty and staff offices and classrooms...and all this needs to happen before the first sledge hammer swings to knock down even one wall in the ES Building.

There are multiple considerations and steps taken before arriving at the point where workers begin the initial inside demolition of the three-story, 70 thousand square feet building, according to Erik van de Boogaard, Adams State associate vice president for Facilities Planning, Design and Construction.

Before any of the physical logistics are contemplated, the first steps involve preparing a program plan, budget, and concept, and receiving approval by the Board of Trustees for Adams State and the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

After approval, a design team is hired. Their job is to verify the program, design the electrical, plumbing, and IT systems and layout the space. This requires meeting with departments and stakeholders housed in the building to determine special needs and gain consensus. After consultations, reviews, and meetings, the layout of classrooms and office spaces is completed through a three step process of schematic design, design development and, finally, construction documents ready for bidding. At this, van de Boogaard said, there shouldn't be any more "moving walls" on paper, but there always remains room to modify slightly as construction proceeds. In essence, plans are not complete until the project is done. This is particularly true in renovation type work, when discovering the unknown can sometimes be a daily occurrence.

On paper are the plans -- a thick book measuring 2 feet by 3 feet -- listing out code plan, demo plan, grading plan, sanitary waste plans, landscape, mechanical demolition, mechanical, electric demolition, electric, technical demolition, technical, etc. Dotted lines on existing walls represent those scheduled to be demolished; there exists a page for each aspect including materials, finishes, hardware, measurements for every door, window, frame, wall, and ceiling to be constructed. Every element imaginable is planned and goes through multiple revisions; all reviewed by building stakeholders and facilities personnel.

On November 11, a pre-bid walk-through happened with various prime bidders and their sub-contractors whose bids need to be in by November 30. In between these dates, contractors can submit questions for the design team and architect and request addendums to the plan.

In the meantime, starting in August, some faculty and staff inhabiting the ES Building have already moved to new locations, or are preparing for the move by boxing up books and supplies. Spreadsheets created and boxes categorized with colored tape help make the move efficient.

Half of the college's 2,500 on-campus students attend class in the ES Building five days a week, and teacher education, counselor education, English, communications, sociology, psychology, and history, government and philosophy departments are located in the building. It was a major feat, led primarily by Dr. Frank Novotny, vice president for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Mark Manzanares, ES Building manager and director of Academic Instructional Technology, to find temporary office and classroom space for the spring and summer 2011 semesters. Coordination and cooperation across campus added to the success of the major undertaking.

Adams State finals week starts December 13 and the next week physical work on the ES Building will begin with movers emptying building contents. Demolition and asbestos abatement will likely start in January, once contracts are finalized. van de Boogaard said it could be two to three months before there is any noticeable difference in the building's outside appearance. The approach to the remodel will depend on which contractor is the successful bidder, as "every contractor will have a different idea."

The building is scheduled for completion by the fall 2011 semester. Natural light, new finishes, and indoor and outdoor study/gathering spaces will make the building welcoming to students.

By Linda Relyea