Construction complete on campus over summer


Max Goldberg

Construction outside of Marston Hall forces students to bottleneck to one sidewalk when traveling across campus. 

Michaela Ramm

Students and faculty returning to Iowa State can expect to see some changes on campus as the 2015 fall semester begins.

As students left for the summer, the facilities, planning and management department (FP&M) at Iowa State began working on improvements across campus in an effort to address various issues and to improve the overall student experience.

A report was released Friday, Aug. 21 by FP&M that outlined all work completed during the summer months, as well as an anticipated list of projects to be done during the fall semester. Dean McCormick, director of design and construction services for FP&M, said on average, FP&M spends about $100 million on construction at Iowa State every year.

Cyclone fans and ISU students may have noticed the new addition to the south end zone of Jack Trice Stadium, which includes the seating expansion and the Sukup End Zone Club. It was an undertaking FP&M has nearly completed.

Construction crews will be finishing up the week before classes, McCormick said.

“There will be some work done over the next couple of weeks, but mostly minor stuff,” McCormick said. “Everything will be open and ready to host the first game on Sept. 5.”

One major project the department took on during the summer was the many changes made to Osborn Drive in an attempt to alleviate motor and pedestrian traffic congestion.

The sidewalks on the north side of Osborn Drive between Lagomarcino and Science halls have been improved during the summer months. Brown said the crews removed the grass, shifted the sidewalk closer to the street and widened it.

Cathy Brown, a campus planner for FP&M, said the bus stops have also been modified by removing the brick and replacing it with concrete.

“That’s a pilot project to see if we can better accommodate student movement between classes,” Brown said. “We’re going to be monitoring that this fall and looking for some feedback.”

FP&M widened the sidewalks not only as an overall traffic improvement, but also as part of of a larger sidewalk improvement project.

“This was our third or fourth year in a row of our targeted sidewalk project,” Brown said. “We worked on the northwest side of campus where we got rid of trip hazards, cracks and so on. Really, a very aggressive targeted approach to improve the facilities.”

Davidson Hall was also torn down during the spring semester of 2015 and replaced during the summer with a parking lot. The lot will be for permit holders during daytime hours, but will be available for student parking in the evenings.

Farm House Lane, the road that connects Osborn Drive and Union Drive on the eastern side of campus was also renovated during the summer. The major initiative, McCormick said, was to help divert traffic off Osborn Drive.

McCormick said the project is mostly complete, save for landscaping, but FP&M would “like to see some green grass grow before we call it complete.”

The Hub has also received a few upgrades to its outdoor plaza in order to optimize the space as additional seating for students. The plaza was expanded with additional seating and an overhead shade structure. Construction will be complete and ready for students on the first day of classes.

The outdoor plaza was a part of the campus beautification project, an undertaking that has been ongoing in the FP&M department for the past two years.

The program, pushed forward by university administration, was an effort made by the department to improve the aesthetics of campus. One project in the program included the installation of a new wall on Central Campus between the Campanile and the Memorial Union.

The report states the “sign is lit and is already creating Kodak Moments for parents and students as they mark the start of their Iowa State adventure.” McCormick said he has already heard of hundreds of photos being taken as parents and students flooded campus during move-in days.

FP&M does more than just major construction projects; it also completes overall infrastructure improvements that others may not normally notice.

Those are less glamorous but they’re what they need to be,” Brown said.

Work continued from the previous semester on the boiler replacement project at the power plant on campus and is nearing completion. The report states that all boilers and auxiliary equipment have been installed, as well as all major piping. Electrical systems are currently being installed.

Two solar panels, donated by CB Solar in Des Moines, were also installed on the wind turbine located northwest of campus. Together, the panels can produce up to 25 kilowatts of electricity and will be completely installed by September.

For a full list of projects completed or in progress by FP&M, visit the current project page at

The FP&M department contacts can be found at: