Construction will begin next spring on a new south campus building to meet the needs of St. Thomas' facilities operations and the School of Engineering. The building will be located on the parking lot immediately north of McCarthy Gymnasium and west of the Anderson Parking Facility. In the foreground here is the service drive from Cretin and Grand avenues, and in the background are the Service Center, and Cretin and Grace halls.
St. Thomas has unveiled plans for a new south campus building to meet the needs of the university’s facilities operations and the School of Engineering.
Construction is planned to begin March 31 on the three-story, 28,000-square-foot building on the parking lot immediately north of McCarthy Gymnasium, and will be completed by September and the opening of the 2014-15 school year.
The $5.6 million building will serve as the Physical Plant’s home for central receiving, recycling, and equipment maintenance and storage operations, and also will provide additional laboratory space for design projects by engineering students and faculty.
Facilities operations have been scattered around campus since 2009, when space was lost to construction of the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex and the sale of a maintenance garage at 2076 Grand Ave. Central receiving operations have been located in temporary quarters on the lot north of McCarthy, and will move to the Anderson Student Center during construction of the new building.
In addition, growth in engineering enrollment has left faculty and students with insufficient space in O’Shaughnessy Science Hall to conduct research projects such as those done by the Senior Design Clinic.
“The new building provides a great opportunity to bring several programs together under one roof and to be more efficient in how we use our space,” said Mark Vangsgard, vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer.
Dr. Don Weinkauf, dean of the School of Engineering, is delighted that his program will have additional space for design and build projects.
“One in 10 freshmen at St. Thomas majors in engineering, and as a result we are bursting at the seams in O’Shaughnessy,” he said. “This will be real working space, where everyone from our freshmen to our seniors will see the engineering process literally unfold in front of them through the work of their own minds and hands.”
Ryan Companies of Minneapolis is the contractor and architect for the building, which will be clad largely in Kasota limestone. Ryan also constructed the adjacent Anderson Parking Facility and the Child Development Center at Grand Avenue and Finn Street.
Here is a floor-by-floor description of the building, which will have elevator service to all four levels:
- Basement – It will be used for storage.
- First floor – Central Receiving, the Recycling Center and the Grounds Department will be located here, with sufficient space to handle trucks delivering materials. Engineering will have garage space for deliveries. At this time, recycling operations are in the Physical Plant building on the main campus but need more space.
- Second floor – The Physical Plant will store and work on vehicles and equipment such as lawn mowers and snow blowers. Those operations now are located around campus, including the parking ramp under Morrison Hall.
- Third floor – Engineering will have an open floor plan, and also will continue to use its existing laboratory space in O’Shaughnessy.
St. Thomas will preview the plans this month with two neighborhood groups: the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee and the Housing and Land Use Committee of the Macalester-Groveland Community Council.
Undergraduate Admissions Moves to New Home, Affects Staff Parking Lot Near Murray-Herrick
For more than 25 years, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has welcomed prospective Tommies to its space at 32 Finn. That’s all about to change.
As part of the university’s long-range space plan, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will move to its new home in Murray-Herrick Campus Center. Located on the second floor, the newly remodeled space will provide a location in the heart of campus where prospective students and their families will be introduced to St. Thomas. The space is a welcome change as the Murray-Herrick Campus Center is fully handicapped-accessible and provides an appropriate abundance of purple and gray Tommie spirit. Additionally, this move will unite the Enrollment Services Division (Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid) in one space – a move that has been in the making since the late 1998.
Beginning Friday, Sept. 6, look for Undergraduate Admissions in the Murray-Herrick Campus Center.
Parking Changes in Lot G
To accommodate the admissions location change, the parking spaces in parking lots G, outside Murray-Herrick and the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center, and L (outside 32 Finn) have been reallocated.
Parking Lot L will now be a faculty/staff (red) parking lot. A portion of the parking spaces in Lot G, along the north side of the parking lot, will now be reserved for admissions visitor parking. Admissions parking in Lot G will be enforced from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some of the spaces will be permanent admissions spaces. Others will be marked with signs that will change to read “Admissions Visitors Parking Only” on days with high visitor volume.
The Public Safety Department acknowledges that this is a substantial change to these parking lots and to parking patterns, and that these changes may be an inconvenience to many parkers. However, the goal and mission of Undergraduate Admissions is critical to the success of the University of St. Thomas. The department appreciates understanding and flexibility.
Artificial Turf Improves the South Athletic Field
St. Thomas' new Field Turf surface on the entire South Field will get its first use this week with the start of fall soccer practices.
The $2 million summer project replaced natural grass and installed a state-of-the-art turf field to provide an improved and more durable surface for the university’s soccer and softball teams, as well as students who use the field for recreational purposes.
The layout of the South Field did not change. The soccer field continues to occupy the western two thirds of the site and run north-south, and the softball field will be in the northeastern third. New bleachers for soccer fans have been installed on the west side at midfield, just east of Binz Refectory. No lights were installed for the field.
The project involved scraping off 14 inches of grass and soil and replacing them with aggregate materials topped by artificial turf.
"This is another testament to the university’s commitment to provide a first-class student-athlete experience,” said UST men’s soccer coach Jon Lowery. “It will prove to be invaluable in the development and recruitment of our current and future student athletes."
Tommie women’s head coach Sheila McGill added, “The women's soccer team is extremely excited to have this new surface. It will improve our field condition and consistency throughout the season, and provide an exciting game-day environment."
UST softball coach John Tschida sees savings in time and money, and calls it a safer surface for sliding and infield practice. He also said it will spruce up the South Campus, providing “a more vibrant feel and giving it a splash of color and school spirit."
The Tommies are schedule to play the first four women's and men's soccer games on the surface on Labor Day weekend, starting with a Aug. 30 doubleheader.
For information about each construction project, please refer to the sidebar at left.