Nearly $85 million in infrastructure updates are currently underway
at Humboldt State. The updates are taking place across 75 different
projects that include everything from seismic retrofitting to fire
alarm replacements to a new children’s center. Mike Fisher,
director of planning, design and construction at HSU, said the
updates are key in protecting the longevity of the buildings.
“Infrastructure projects are some of the hardest to implement because they are invasive,” Fisher told the Outpost. “But this campus community has been very supportive and it is very appreciated.”
The bulk of the projects — nearly $36 million, in total — are aimed at updating and retrofitting the Library and the Theater Arts building. The Theater Arts building opened back up for classes this semester after being closed for the entirety of last school year. Plays, dance performances and bands will be back in the Van Duzer Theater this year, and construction on the building will be finalized this October. Construction on the Library will be finished sometime in December, Fisher said.
“The library was extended by a few months for a number of reasons,” he said. The holdup centered around the finalization of designs as well as a state fire marshal review, Fisher continued.
Jenkins Hall will be getting a $10 million facelift starting fall 2020, with a completion date of fall 2021. The building will be renovated to make room for four lecture rooms, faculty offices and a “maker space” where students and faculty will have access to tools to make and fabricate a variety of projects.
The next big project is the new children’s center that will be located at the Trinity Annex, at the corner of B and 14 Streets. The current children’s center is more of a complex. Four old residential homes were converted into offices and a kitchen, a classroom for older toddlers, one for infants and younger toddlers and an interactive space where children can play and learn.
Fisher said the new building will have increased accessibility and a new playground, and will allow the program the more space for potential growth. The design process for the new children’s center is already underway, and the new facility is set to be finished by fall 2021. The project will cost around $13 million, with $8 million coming from the state.
“It’s a fantastic project that will deal with a lot of issues,” Fisher said. “I’m really excited about it. It will be much more efficient for their operation.”
Some of the more minor construction projects include updates to elevators in the library, Theater Arts, Founder’s Hall, Gist Hall, Siemens Hall, the Natural Resources building, Student Business Services and the University Center. Science B will be getting a new electrical substation, and new fire alarm systems will be installed in all of the residential buildings, as well as the Forestry and Natural Resources buildings.
“While these projects are not very flashy, they are critically important to the longevity of the buildings,” Fisher said. “These are good tax dollars being spent.”