Board approves new data center building, Anspach renovation

Construction on a data center building will begin next fall, located between the engineering and technology building and the combined services building.

The building will cost no more than $5.4 million, and will be funded with university reserves, said Trustee Brian Fannon.

The data center is currently housed in the basement of Foust Hall.

“Basements are not ideal locations for technology,” said Steve Lawrence, associate vice president of facilities management, Wednesday. “Last summer, the basement of Foust almost flooded and we came within inches of equipment being damaged. We would have lost all of our data on campus. That would have been devastating.”

Provost Gary Shaprio said it would make no sense to relocate the data center in Foust because it would be too chaotic.

“(A new building) will cover the flood issue and we’ve also considered the possibility of any catastrophic damages. This new building is likely to stand even in the event of a tornado,” Shapiro said.

The building will be about 5,000 square feet and is scheduled to be completed by 2013.

It will be unmannered with no personnel in the building, Fannon said.

In other business, Anspach Hall will receive its first formal renovation since its construction in 1966.
“Anspach is the most heavily utilized hall on campus,” Lawrence said. “It needs renovation badly and these plans have been in the works for almost two years now.”

All classrooms and restrooms will be renovated, a new entrance  on the West side of the building and a student lounge will also be added.

The total projected cost of the renovation is just over $14 million. Lawrence said the project would be funded in a number of ways.

University reserves and maintenance funds will be utilized, he said. Also, Pamela Gates, dean of humanities and social and behavioral sciences, is contributing $230,000 for construction.

The project is set to begin this summer and be completed by fall 2012.

Renovations in Grawn Hall are set to be completed by the end of January.

A new lobby featuring a hall of fame corridor was added to the entrance, and a conference room, as well as project rooms for students in the entrepreneurial program.

The construction of the bioscience building was also discussed. The building would be 158,000 square feet and would be located between the education and human services building and the combined services building.

“If approval was given from the state in March 2012, it would require a 28-month construction period,” Lawrence said. “The projected date that the building would open is the beginning of the school year in 2015.”

Plans for the first floor include a 250-seat auditorium and an aquatic vivarium where plants and species would be grown for research purposes.

“It would be a tremendous asset to have on campus,” Shapiro said.