This update provides students and the community with the status of the construction projects around Metropolitan State’s Saint Paul Campus. Construction updates may also be viewed online at the Capital Projects: Construction and Planning Web page.
Interim parking and construction websites and webcam
The “Interim Parking” and “Construction” links may be found on the home page of the university website. The “Capital Projects: Construction and Planning” page features current information on university construction projects and links to a live webcam view of the parking ramp, student center and science education center worksites.
Remote parking site
It is reported that the shuttle and remote parking system continue to function well with the extended shuttle hours for fall semester, accommodating students in evening classes. Spring 2015 classes are relocated to Saint Paul College due to limited parking at Saint Paul Campus. The university is staying abreast of developments with the Kellogg Bridge and will continue to use the bridge for the shuttle route.
Parking ramp site: Soil contamination, testing and mitigation
It was previously reported that environmental safety consultants discovered soil contaminated with gas and diesel along with evidence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Although no evident risk to persons on or near the worksite has been found, health and safety is the university’s highest priority. The university has:
- Completed an environmental site assessment;
- Removed contaminated soil immediately below the ramp footprint;
- Consulted with MnSCU’s finance and facilities leadership team and appropriate regulatory agencies including the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Capital Region Watershed District; and
- Developed plans to replace the intended storm-water infiltration system with a filtration system that will keep storm-water from the site from entering the watershed.
The soil contamination issue clearly impacted the project, with the contractor stating that the project is about 18 weeks behind schedule from its original completion date of late January 2015. While costs are still being refined, the current financial estimate of the contamination mitigation and delay costs exceeds $3.4 million. The university is working with the MnSCU system office to resolve funding issues.
The soil contamination is resolved and construction is moving forward. The main stair tower is being constructed, the first level is paved with asphalt, utilities are in place, the second level will be formed soon and concrete will be placed in November. The contractor is taking steps to continue construction throughout the winter.
Student center construction progresses, as viewed from the web cam on Seventh Street. Most foundations are in place and block walls are rising. In November, roofing steel arrives and building-exterior brick will be laid.
Like the parking ramp, the student center site had contaminated soils which were substantially removed under the building footprint. Because the ground still has vapors that can seep into the building through cracks and holes, a soil vapor extraction system has been designed and will be installed under the building. The cost of the soil removal, testing, and vapor extraction system is estimated to be approximately $580,000. As with the parking ramp, the university is working with the MnSCU system office to identify a way to fund the additional costs.
Science education center
The university hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 10, which was attended by local elected officials. The science education center is well underway, as approximately 300 cubic yards of contaminated soil have been removed from the site and hauled to an approved landfill. Prior knowledge of the existence of contaminated soil led to the cost of removal being included in the construction contract.
Foundations are being placed, formwork for the first story walls is being constructed and utility connections to the site have been completed. Foundations for the skyway next to Founders Hall have also been completed. The building’s second floor will be formed and concrete poured in the coming weeks.
Maria traffic calming measures
In partnership with the city of Saint Paul, the university plans to implement traffic-calming measures on Maria Avenue between East Sixth Street and East Seventh Street. That work will begin in the spring of 2015 while the parking ramp is under construction in order that both projects are completed together.