Deferred maintenance prefunding approved by Board of Trustees

Morgan Taylor | Assistant Photo Editor President George E. Ross begins the Board of Trustees meeting in the Bovee University Center on Wednesday morning by reading a post from facebook about a young girls acceptance to CMU.

A total of $980,000 for roof projects and $120,000 for masonry projects around campus were approved during Thursday's board of trustees meeting.

The cost of the projects combined is not to exceed a total of $1.1 million.

The projects are backlogged in CMU's deferred maintenance budget.

Barrie Wilkes, vice president of finance and administrative services at CMU, said this was a very important move for the university and facilities management. The administration wants to get a head start on a number of different projects, he said.

“The (2014-15) deferred maintenance budget will begin July 1," Wilkes said, "but often times facilities management needs to get going on projects before that, generally as soon as the students move out. It’s a matter of needing to get started early to get the projects done.”

Wilkes said university reserves will be used to cover the costs until July 1. The costs will be replaced with the new deferred maintenance funds when they become available that day.

Facilities Management Update

In addition to the deferred maintenance projects, facilities management will be busy as a number of projects have already begun or will be starting soon.

Steve Lawrence, associate vice president of facilities management, updated the trustees and administrators on the progress CMU facilities management is making on projects across the state.

Lawrence said he is very happy to see construction of the CMED Saginaw facility ahead of schedule and moving along smoothly. The installation of the structural steel was finished ahead of the estimated completion date of May 7.

Once the spring 2014 semester is finished, demolition of the Washington Apartments will begin. Construction of the Biosciences Building will be underway shortly after.

Construction of that building will be finished by December 2016. Faculty and staff will begin moving into the building September 2015 through January 2017.

“It’s a very unique building,” Lawrence said. “(Once construction starts) we will have heavy, heavy traffic.”

To adjust to the heavy flow of traffic, Lawrence said an access road will be added off of East Campus Drive.

East Campus Drive will also be realigned for the hotel being added to the south side of Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The hotel construction will be done August 2015.

Although CMU is not funding or working on the hotel project, Lawrence said the construction of the hotel will begin during the first week of June.

The six story, 148 room hotel will feature a 250 capacity conference room and is being paid for and built by Lodgco, a hospitality company which builds hotels. CMU is leasing the land the hotel will be built on to Lodgco.

Construction of the east utility loop is also underway. The steam and condensate lines added to current lines will be done by October. The new lines will provide the campus with an additional, reliable option to heating the campus, Lawrence said.

Lawrence said he and other administrators have been examining the Rose Center to determine potential areas that could be used for a locker room, coaches offices and other space for the new women’s lacrosse program.

They are also looking at different options of where to build the field. The synthetic turf field will be shared with the women’s soccer team. It will either replace the current women’s soccer field inside the Bennett Track Facility or the practice soccer field.

The project will be completed by August 2015 in preparation for the inaugural season for the women’s lacrosse team beginning in March 2016.

With multiple construction projects ongoing, many people within CMU are eager to see the projects completed.

President George Ross said he is excited to see these additions to the university.  He said the projects will have a positive impact on the future of CMU.

“It’s moving us forward as an institution, and it is exciting,” said Ross. “It’s very thrilling to see these things and make progress moving forward and advancing excellence.”