Cut Construction


Photo: Brian Achenbach/Iowa State Daily

Machinery lines Bissell Road outside of Coover Hall. Torn up sidewalks around campus don’t stay that for long as they are generally replaced within a couple of days.

Madison Martin

During the regular school year construction can be seen around campus. However, in the summer construction seems to pick up and be even more visible to people walking through campus. 

Iowa State has a few big projects going on that were visible to students when they left after spring semester. These include Troxel Hall, the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering building, renovations in Curtiss Hall, the new Jeff and Deb Hansen Agricultural Learning Center and renovations to Frederiksen Court.

Dean McCormick, Director for Design and Construction Services, oversees the construction projects going around on campus. One of the most anticipated buildings is the new Troxel Hall, a building that is strictly an auditorium that seats 400 people, the first of its kind at Iowa State. 

“The building for all intended purposes is done,” McCormick said. 

Troxel has an $11 million price tag. It is funded by a private gift of $4.75 million from Iowa State alumnus Douglas Troxel (’67), $5 million from the Iowa State tresasurer’s temporary investments, $1 million from the facilities overhead use allowance, and $250,000 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

“We are on budget,” McCormick said. “We’re also on schedule and we’ll use the summer as sort of a shakedown cruise of some sorts. We’re on schedule to be ready by the start of fall classes.”

On the east side of campus, the large and prominent Biorenewables Complex is being built. It currently houses the Biorenewable Laboratory that was completed in 2010. Two additions, Elings Hall and Sukup Hall, are being completed with an atrium connecting the two. The new complex comes at a steep $74.5 million, funds coming from private gifts totaling $13,539,360 and $60,400,000 in capital appropriations.

“The structure for the atrium is there. We’re working to enclose that right now. That building is moving towards enclosure and will be enclosed later this summer or early fall. That building is scheduled for occupancy in the fall of 2014,” said McCormick.

In May 2012, renovation work began in Curtiss Hall’s lower level, under the large auditorium used for many classes. This area is known as the Harl Commons and is considered phase one of the work being done in the 100-year-old building.

This first phase in it’s entirety is funded by $6,953,780 in private giving, $4,986,020 worth of university funds, facilities overhead use allowance of $1,762,000 and $533,000 in deferred maintenance/academic building revenue bonds.

“Curtiss has been a multiphase project. The current major project is the Harl Commons project and that renovates sort of that east side in the area under the auditorium. We’re still shooting for mid-August completion date. There are future projects, this [Harl Commons] is the last one of the phase one piece of that,” said McCormick.

Over by the ice arena, the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agricultural Learning Center is being built. The center is named after Jeff and Deb Hansen who pledged $2 million of it’s total $7.3 million project cost. The remaining $5.3 million is funded by other private gifts and $300,000 in university funding. 

“In the spring we were doing foundations. We were really in on the site and it’s been impacted [by rainfall]. We’re still looking to finish that in late fall. Right now it projects out to a November completion date,” said McCormick.

Spencer Williams, sophomore in agronomy, supports the new additions to campus and is not against Iowa State helping with the funding of these buildings, especially since they will hold much more new technology. 

“As a student, I want to be paying for something that is top of the line,” Williams said.

While there are visible constructions jobs going on around campus, there are also many that students may not always see or take into account. These could include bathroom upgrades, sprinkler projects and fire alarm projects. 

“We have a lot of projects on campus at any one time. We always have between 30–40 projects that are going on in buildings that most people probably don’t know about. We take a little bit of pride in that because if people aren’t noticing them, we must be doing something right,” McCormick said.