As the renovation of Murray State's Hester College nears completion, a university official says there are more projects in the pipeline.
Chief facilities manager Kim Oatman says progress on the new Breathitt Veterinary Center building has been steady. The latest state 2-year spending plan allocated additional funds for construction.
In the previous biennium, MSU received capital to create a design for the new facility.
“We've been in that building for 30 years plus, and there are just a lot of issues - not really suitable as a lab anymore,”Oatman said.
Oatman says blueprints for the building are nearly complete. The project will be open for bids in August, and construction is expected to begin in the following month. The building will be located in the same area as the old veterinary center.
Oatman expects work to be completed in 2016. The entire cost of the 61,000 square-foot facility is estimated at $36.6 million.
Another ongoing MSU project is that of the new engineering and physics building. Plans for a new facility have been in the works for years; Oatman says the concept for the 80,000 square-foot building began in 1998.
Work will begin in February, and is expected to complete in August 2016. Construction will require the closure of Olive Street.
The state will contribute $31.8 million to the project while MSU will allocate up to an additional $5 million.
Additionally, multiple university residential colleges are set to be renovated or replaced entirely. Franklin Hall will be totally rebuilt into a 114,000 square foot, 380-bed facility at the site of the old Clark building.
Bids for that project will be considered in February, followed by construction in March. Oatman says the building should be open for occupancy in 2016.
Hester College's renovation is set to finish this summer and will reopen for the fall semester.
Regents, White and Hart colleges are also scheduled to be renovated as part of a 10-year plan, but no concrete timetables have been set. Murray State will foot the bill.
“We will keep the old Franklin, Richmond and Springer in place until after we finish our long range plan of getting all the high rises renovated and building the new ones,” Oatman said.
Lastly, MSU will conduct an energy efficiency study that aims to save the university funds.
“The state allows and authorizes universities to do these energy projects, and the concept is that there are a lot of inefficiencies in the equipment at universities, mainly because of deferred maintenance over the years and new technologies that are out there,” Oatman said.
Oatman says specifics have not been finalized yet, but referencing previous projects at Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky University, estimates the cost somewhere between $9 and $20 million. A previous study in 2006 ran the university $6 million, but saved approximately $600,000 per year.