Construction, renovations continue around campus

Joseph Miller
Construction crews work on the Nursing and Health Science, the biggest construction project on campus currently.

Joseph Miller | Staff Reporter

Students can expect to continue seeing construction and renovation projects across campus in the future.

Construction of the Nursing and Health Science Building dominates the west end of campus.

The areas between the Performing Arts Center and the Jerry D. Morris Recreation Center are areas of construction that show progress daily.

What students may not know is that there are many projects around campus.

“There are 81 small projects, 7 major capital projects and hundreds of work orders,” Facilities Coordinator Mark Giossi said.

The major project outside the nursing facility is an energy conservation program across campus.

The process of switching buildings to more efficient lighting and other similar procedures is large scale and sweeping across the A&M – Commerce campus.

“The upgrades and fixes we are doing is going to save money,” Director of Safety and Risk Management Derek Preas said. “The return on this investment is really quick with this type of project.”

The McDowell Administration Building will continue to be renovated.

As part of the energy conservation program the McDowell Building and other buildings are receiving complete overhauls to their heating, ventilating and air conditioning units.

“This will not only improve the comfort of students, but it will save a ton of money,” Preas said.

Additionally, the bridge walkways on the east side of the McDowell Administration Building near the library will undergo renovations soon.

Many of these projects will enhance student’s quality of life, but also have an extra benefit to students.

Students will not have to worry about rising tuition costs due to operational costs.

Decisions about moving the tennis courts to the Cain Sports Complex, the former president’s house, improvements to the university farm, and Phase III are in preliminary stages or currently underway. The parking situation was also brought up.

“There is always talks about parking,” Preas said. “We are in a beautiful time for our campus. We are expanding rapidly, students and buildings.”

This growth may mean more cramped and farther away parking spaces.

“People just aren’t used to it. Look at College Station, students there sometimes have to park miles from their classes down there,” Preas said.

“Here, it is hard to hear that there is an open lot two blocks away and that you have to walk,” Preas said.

In addition to the various construction changes, the university has expanded the number of trees around campus.

“I want every student on campus, everybody in the world, to know that we just added 13 new trees to campus,” Preas said.

Preas said the project is special and has added a spark to him.

“These aren’t just broomstick trees either,” Preas said. “Trees that are huge, like a 12 inch, 35-year-old Live Oak tree.”