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Get up to date with construction on campus

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Shortly after students moved out in May, construction crews moved in, beginning work on dorm renovations, asbestos abatement, and pavement projects around campus.

The renovations are part of the University at Albany’s ongoing effort to improve its aging infrastructure and enhance the quality of life for students living on campus, according to John Giarrusso, associate vice president of finance and administration for facilities management.

What exactly was done while students were away?

A year-and-a-half long renovation project began on Dutch Quad. The $32 million project will see the Schuyler and Beveryck living areas completely revamped and the buildings shuttered dining hall converted to the new home for Student Health and Counseling Services, currently located off campus in the Patroon Creek Corporate Center.

The university currently pays $418,700 a year in rent for the current health center location, according to information provided by Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, director of media and community relations .

The project will be completed in two stages. Construction on the resident’s halls will wrap-up in the summer of 2019 before students arrive on campus. The Health Center will lag six months, opening sometime in January 2020, according to Giarrusso.

A total of 190 beds will be out of use during construction.

“We’re always down a couple hundred beds, so that’s normal,” said Giarrusso.

The first in a series of asbestos abatement projects took place this summer on State Quad, wrapping up prior to students moving in for the fall semester.

Last fall, the Student Association senate passed a resolution calling on the university to remove all asbestos containing materials from dorm room ceilings and to be more transparent in the process.

Facilities responded by attending a weekly SA meeting and answering questions student leaders had at the time.

This summer’s abatement focused on low-rise buildings on State as well as a few select floors in the quad’s tower, according to Giarruso who emphasized that the asbestos containing material is harmless unless students provoke areas containing the material.

“Out of an abundance of precaution and because it’s kind of unsightly, we are indeed removing asbestos on an asbestos only project to upgrade the appearance and look of ceilings,” he said.

Fourteen buildings still have some or all asbestos containing materials, according to Carleo-Evangelist, the equivalent to around 15 percent.

A similar project will take place next year on Indian Quad.

Several paving projects wrapped up this summer, including parts of Collins Circle, University Drive West, and roadways in Freedom Quad.

Additionally, 46 double-hung windows were replaced on Alumni Quad, according to Carleo-Evangelist.

 

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Chad Arnold is a reporter for the Albany Student Press covering Student Association affairs. He is also an die-hard heavy metal fan.

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