Some elevators to get upgrades

The University is projected to spend nearly $15 million in renovations on three on-campus buildings over the academic year.

The Academic Center, JBKO Hall and Lafayette Hall are all slated for renovations, and work on the Academic Center elevators has already commenced. One elevator has been upgraded and two are expected to be finished this week, said Juan Ibanez, the associate vice president for Facilities. The elevator upgrades, which will cost the University approximately $1.8 million, will continue on through next spring, when renovations on all six elevators in the building will be complete. Ibanez said the elevators are being replaced due to the age of the equipment and high usage.

Even though students will be using the building while renovations occur, Ibanez said the impact on students will be minimal.

“All the buildings were out of service during the time of the elevator work, with the exception of Academic Hall where we have stretched out the renovation period to ensure some elevators are always in service,” Ibanez said in an e-mail.

The interior of Lafayette Hall will be completely renovated and new elevators will be installed, Ibanez said. The University expects to spend $10.5 million on the project, which will commence in May after students have vacated the building.

JBKO will also receive major upgrades, including work on the fire alarm and sprinkler systems, elevator controls and doors, kitchens and bathrooms. The work, which is being done due to the age of the equipment, will cost approximately $2.65 million.

The University shopped the project around to get the best deal, Ibanez said.

“We competitively bid our projects where cost is one consideration,” Ibanez said. “Our normal practice is to base selection on “best value” considerations, which include price, ability of a contractor to perform (technical ability and past performance of the contractor), equipment life-cycle and reliability considerations, etc.”

Several University buildings have undergone renovations in the past two years, including Monroe Hall, Thurston Hall, Aston Hall, Fulbright Hall and Funger Hall, which underwent a $2.6 million renovation over the summer.

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