Hub renovations delayed until spring semester



Devyn Leeson

The Hub, a popular location on campus for students to eat, drink and study, won’t have its renovations finished until the start of the spring semester.

Iowa State Facilities Planning and Management hoped the Hub could reopen its venue after Thanksgiving, but unexpected conditions extended the construction project by two months.

“This particular project is a renovation, it is a gut and replace kind of project,” said Scott Ayres, director of capital projects for FPM. “Anytime you have a renovation project of a building like this — a building that is more than 100 years old — and you gut it, you can run into unforeseen conditions. In this case the blueprints did not [exactly] match the layout of the building.”

During the demolition process and before piping could be put in the building, contractors found the concrete floor was 12 inches in depth instead of the expected four inches. Ayres said unforeseen conditions like these can lead to changes in the necessary equipment and even changes to the design plans, which extends the time needed to complete the project.

Delays in projects can be normal, Ayres said.

“Many, if not most, renovation projects encounter unforeseen conditions that may cause a delay from a contractor’s initial schedule estimate,” Ayres said. “Many contractors include a little extra time in their estimates to cover these and then hope their estimates are accurate. It’s when the unforeseen issues exceed their estimates that a project’s final completion date can be delayed.”

While the Hub is just one of the many buildings on campus that are more than 100 years old, Jennie Elliott, project manager for the Hub reconstruction, said other buildings and projects on campus in need of similar renovations won’t be pushed back due to the Hub.

“These aren’t the same funds that are used in other projects and maintenance services, as this is a project from ISU dining, and they are the ones paying for it,” Elliott said.

Despite being popular among students on campus, Elliott, Ayres and ISU dining director Mohamed Ali said they haven’t heard complaints, as the two month delay won’t have a large impact on students.

“The delay consists of a couple weeks, Thanksgiving break, dead week and finals week,” Ali said.

Instead, Ali said students are excited about the project because The Hub will have more options with the Kansas City-based coffee shop, The Roasterie Cafe.

“The experience will be different, it will be an amazing experience,” Ali said. “It will have cold brewed coffee, homemade gelato, all types of drinks and new food options. They are not even the same level to be honest … I can not overemphasize how different this will be.”