Summer projects on (or near) your corner

North exterior of the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

Workers seal seams between panels this week near the front entrance to the new Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Construction teams seemingly are replacing students on campus for the next 10 weeks or so to take advantage of Iowa State's smaller summer student body and tackle some impactful projects. Inside talked to project and construction managers in facilities planning and management for a snapshot of summer projects -- and an update on a few with a longer timeline. With our thanks, this is not a comprehensive list of all the projects those teams are coordinating!

Summer window

Design, Carver auditoriums

Work on refurbishing two heavily used auditorium classrooms -- in Carver Hall and the College of Design -- began last week and will wrap up by early August. Both are receiving new flooring and seats, and accessibility and technology upgrades. The walls and ceiling in 101 Carver also will get upgrades and LED lights. The cost, $415,000 at Carver and $290,000 at Design, is split between the provost's office and facilities overhead use funds.


Central campus road replacements

Two short sections of campus roads are closed for replacement: Union Drive along the north side of Lake LaVerne and the middle section of Farm House Lane from Troxel to Curtiss halls (access remains to parking lots adjacent to both buildings). Neither requires underground infrastructure improvements. Farm House Lane will be widened to 21 feet so oncoming vehicles can pass each other safely, and existing bicycle parking will be replaced. A sidewalk will be added to the north side of Union Drive between Morrill Road and the Welch Road intersection. Lot 74, reserved parking along the lake, will relocate to the north side of the road to open visual access to the lake. Combined, the two projects are $1.15 million, mostly state institutional road funds, with ISU parking sharing the cost of the Union Drive changes.


New RV location for football fans

Work began in April to convert a grass lot east of University Boulevard to a 337-stall lot for RV tailgaters on football gamedays. Features include a 10-by-55-foot concrete pad and electrical hookup for each stall, lights, asphalt drive lanes through the lot and grass lawn between pads. Stalls that are ready by the end of May will be seeded, and those available later will be laid with sod.

This $9.1 million project includes a 12-foot-wide pedestrian bridge over Worle Creek, at the south end of the RV lot, to provide safe stadium access to fans who park in lots near the Veterinary Medicine college and a second access to this area for emergency vehicles. Athletics department funds will cover this project.


More Friley roof

2022 is the second of a two-summer project to replace Friley Hall's slate roof with asphalt shingles and replace gutters and downspouts as needed. Flat rubber and metal roof areas also are being redone. Last summer, the roof was replaced from the southwest end of Friley through the loading dock area across from Lake LaVerne. Phase 2 starts in the vicinity of Friley Windows dining center and continues north to the end of the residence hall. This project includes all work on the top floor dormers -- window replacement, roof and siding. The dormer windows weren't replaced in a three-summer window project (2018-20). Work will conclude by the end of July. The $5.9 million cost is covered by dormitory system improvement funds.


West parking expansions

Parking lots 1 (south of State Gym) and 10 (west of Town Engineering) will grow by at least 60 stalls each prior to construction of the Therkildsen Industrial Engineering Building for the industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department on the west end of Lot 3 (northwest of Beyer Hall). The parking lots project will be bid in late summer, and the intent is to complete the Lot 1 expansion and a necessary realignment of the Sheldon Avenue extension by the end of December. Lot 10's west expansion is scheduled for next summer. Expanding the two lots will replace the stalls lost in Lot 3. The $2 million pricetag will be shared by ISU parking division and the Therkildsens' building gift.


College of Design exterior windows

Yes, the College of Design facility contains a LOT of windows. This project covers exterior windows original to the building on six levels (ground through five); it doesn't include the barrel window running the length of the roof or the curtain window at either end of the center atrium. The 44-year-old window ribbons will be replaced with tinted, high-efficiency glass windows, though product delivery challenges will delay that work until late August. Weather permitting, each side of each floor should require seven workdays to replace the length of windows, necessitating short relocations within the building for staff and faculty this fall. The $2.85 million project will begin around June 1 with its other component: replacing the caulk between expansion joints in the building's concrete panels to seal out moisture.

Wrapping up this summer

University Boulevard pedestrian bridge

The elevated walkway connecting the east concourse of Jack Trice Stadium to parking lots east of University Boulevard is about 70% complete and should be done by late July. The east ramp is built above a designated no-use corridor in ISU's southeast recreation fields. Steel spans across the road will be lifted into place the week of June 27. To accomplish this, daytime traffic will be limited to one lane in each direction, and from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. University Boulevard will be closed. The project includes a fence along the west side of University Boulevard between South Fourth and South 16th streets that matches the Reiman Garden fence and compels fans to use the designated crossing sites. To promote year-round use of the pedestrian bridge, the project also includes a sidewalk outside the northeast corner of the stadium, hugging the hillside, that connects the north plaza area to the bridge.


Soults Family Visitors Center in the MU

Cyclone panel to be backlit

This backlit Cyclone panel is a new feature at the front of the Soults Family Visitors Center.

The ground floor presentation center, where campus tours begin for prospective students and their families, was closed spring semester for a major remodel and a modern look. The project includes new seating, flooring, ceiling, lighting, paint and state-of-the-art presentation technology, and a west exterior door for an easy transition to the walking tours. The entry wall, formerly home to a "Welcome to Iowa State" Sticks mural, will feature an LED wave wall and a backlit Cyclone panel. The $1.8 million project also includes converting an adjacent kitchenette to a meeting room, renovating the nearby admissions staff office and converting two gender restrooms into six individual unisex restrooms. Due to delivery delays on several construction items, the estimated window for use of the new spaces is early August.


Iowa State Center northwest lot

detention basin, uncovered

One of two detention basins being installed beneath the northwest lot to handle stormwater.

This project is expanding the parking areas north of the Scheman Building and west of Fisher Theater. About 325 stalls -- roughly 10% of them ADA compliant -- will be added to the 150 stalls provided in the two former lots, more than tripling the parking in this area of the Iowa State Center. The surface will be asphalt with concrete curb and gutter. The west half of the lawn between Fisher and Stephens Auditorium will be converted to a drop-off area, and the Beach Avenue exit will move south to align with Sunset Drive. The project includes additional sidewalks and lighting and two 60-by-100-foot underground stormwater detention basins. Despite a wet April, the project remains on schedule for completion in early August. Athletics department funds will cover the $5.55 million cost.

Ongoing projects

Power plant: coal boiler conversion

The remaining two coal boilers in the ISU power plant, which have 15-20 years of service left, will be converted for natural gas burning, one each this summer and next. Three other natural gas boilers were installed in 2015, and the university can operate with three boilers this time of year. The process for each boiler conversion includes removing the equipment that supplies coal and limestone to a boiler, installing gas burners and control systems, and expanding the natural gas supply lines into the facility. Demolition of boiler #1 components is occurring now. In fall 2023, when the second boiler conversion is complete, a shared collection system for the ash byproduct will be removed from the power plant, and two nearby coal storage lots will be restored. The $16 million cost will be covered by ISU's utility reserve fund and an internal university loan.


Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, phase 1

A new home for the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, under construction between U.S. Highway 30 and the College of Veterinary Medicine, is about halfway to completion, heading for occupancy in early fall 2023. About 95% of the building is enclosed. Inside, wall framing and drywall, mechanical and plumbing work, and installation of a monorail is progressing.

In February, university leaders received state Board of Regents approval to begin planning for a 69,000-square-foot, estimated $64.3 million phase 2 to the lab. The second phase would allow all VDL operations to be in one facility.