Campus construction rolls on despite record rainfall

Campus construction rolls on despite record rainfall

Construction projects at UNL include the Love Library Learning Commons, a $10 million project designed as a gathering and collaboration space for students. The learning commons is scheduled to open in December.
Troy Fedderson | University Communications
Construction projects at UNL include the Love Library Learning Commons, a $10 million project designed as a gathering and collaboration space for students. The learning commons is scheduled to open in December.

Lincoln's record-setting May rainfall total has slowed — but not stopped — summer construction at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

A May 26 shower made this month Lincoln’s wettest May since data started being collected in 1887. Ken Dewey, professor of natural resources, said the city officially measured 10.83 inches of rain by May 26, also making it the seventh wettest month in 128 years.

"We've certainly had a lot of rain, which has made it difficult keeping campus construction sites active," said Brooke Hay, manager of capital construction for Facilities Planning and Construction. "But the work has continued to move along."

UNL builds weather delay days into construction contracts. Hay said the total is based on weather averages for a month. The total allowed for May is six days.

"We are over that by far, but we try to be fair," Hay said. "When weather like this comes around, we know it is beyond their control and we work with the contractors. They'll be working extra hard to try and make up the lost days, but we may see some extensions as a result."

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents has approved all projects budgeted for more than $2 million. Campus construction projects include:

City Campus

College of Business Administration — Construction of a College of Business Administration building southeast of 14th and Vine streets. The building will have 240,000 gross square feet of space. For more information, go to http://go.unl.edu/cwav. Budget: $84 million Timeline: March 2015 to March 2017

Love Library Learning Commons — Transformation of the first floor of Love Library North into a Learning Commons space to a student gathering point and collaboration center at the heart of City Campus. For more information, go to http://go.unl.edu/u809.
Budget: $10 million Timeline: December 2014 to December 2015

Behlen Laboratory — Demolition and renovation of primarily laboratory space on the building's three main floors and basement (does not include the Extreme Light Laboratory and Diocles laser space). Includes a remodel of the link between Behlen Lab and Brace Hall. Budget: $9.788 million Timeline: March 2015 to August 2016

Manter Hall Renovation — Demolition and redesign of all first-floor biology labs and student support space. Includes upgrade of resource space, which will allow for improved interactions between students and teaching assistants. Also includes office suite on the fourth floor and elevator work. First half of project is to be completed by the start of the fall 2015 semester. Budget: $8.125 million Timeline: February to December 2015

Utility Plant Cooling Tower — Replacement of a cooling tower located at 14th and Avery streets by the City Campus utility plant. For more information, go to http://go.unl.edu/srct. Budget: $2.5 million Timeline: June 2014 to October 2015

11th Street Campus Entry — Redesign of dock area on west side of the Lied Center for Performing Arts. Will include screen to hide Lied's service area. Enhanced pedestrian walkway that leads from Q Street to campus entrance between the Johnny Carson Theater in the Lied and Westbrook Music Building. Budget: $581,000 Timeline: June to September 2015

12th Street Mall — Redesign of the 12th Street Mall (from R Street to Oldfather Hall) to include designed lanes for pedestrians and bicycles. Project started in summer 2014, with a stretch from Memorial Stadium to Oldfather Hall partially completed. For more information, go to http://go.unl.edu/w2xo. Budget: $220,000 Timeline: July to August 2015

East Campus

Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center — Construction of the new veterinary diagnostic center by the northeast corner of the East Campus Loop is to begin in June to replace an outdated facility. For more information, go to http://go.unl.edu/7dom. Budget: $44.7 million Timeline: June 2015 to December 2017

East Campus Residence Hall — Construction of a new 370-bed residence hall will begin with the demolition of Biochemistry Hall and utility work. The new housing facility will offer a mix of traditional and apartment-style units. The facility will replace the 300-bed, 1950s-era Burr and Fedde residence halls. For more information, go to http://go.unl.edu/8tc3. Budget: $37.5 million Timeline: May 2015 to August 2017

East Campus Activities Building — Construction of the new building will be completed and the building will open this summer. Landscaping will take place in June 2015, an open house will take place mid-July, and it will open in August. Budget: $14.9 million Timeline: November 2013 to July 2015

Utility Plant Chiller No. 4 Addition — Addition to the existing thermal energy storage building to house a new 2,500-ton chiller. A two-cell cooling tower will also be constructed to the west of the addition. Also includes installation of new heat exchangers for winter cooling. Budget: $5.8 million Timeline: August 2014 to November 2015

College of Law — A 14,000-square-foot expansion to house the College of Law's four in-house law clinics. The clinics offer third-year law students the opportunity to provide advice to clients in a law office environment. For more information, go to http://go.unl.edu/3r6m. Budget: $4.5 million Timeline: June 2015 to June 2016