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Iowa State has some big construction plans for the near future

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Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Iowa State University.

With the offseason in full swing and the school year coming to close, it’s officially construction season on and around campus. We’re all well aware of the Jack Trice renovations and the Sports Performance Center that are currently being constructed and anticipated to be ready for football season, but you might be curious what other projects are coming up around campus over the next couple years, and what might be coming down the road.

Let’s take a look at some of the particularly notable projects:

Curtiss Farm-Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex

Total Construction Budget: $16,000,000

Begin construction: 09/28/2020

Occupancy / completion: 06/30/2022

This project involves the construction of a feed mill and education building for the production of multi-species animal feed to support and enhance teaching, extension, and research grain science activities for the university. These facilities will be representative of a commercial feed mill operation, with additional design details related to the education, research and outreach needs of the university related to the feed industry. These facilities will be used to produce feed for the university’s animal facilities, as well as be used for teaching activities, and will demonstrate feed mill and grain storage operations.

Department of Residence-Elevator Safety Improvements FY18

Begin construction: 05/31/2020

Occupancy / completion: 12/31/2020

This project consists of replacing and adding safety equipment to two elevators located in maple residence hall and one in maple-willow-larch commons. The areas of work will include fire recall, replacement of obsolete parts, and upgrades of equipment.

Friley Residence Hall-Bathroom Improvements

Total Construction Budget: $13,805,000

This project will remodel the bathrooms in Friley residence hall, converting them to private, more accessible spaces. The work will also include mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems along with interior finishes. This project will be completed in phases over the next four consecutive summers.

Jack Trice Stadium-East Gateway Bridge

Total Construction Budget: $8,163,750

Bid date: 5/27/2021

Begin construction: 05/31/2021

Occupancy / completion: 08/31/2022

Here’s one that’s been in the news plenty, and will be a major functional and aesthetic upgrade to Jack Trice Stadium.

The project consists of, but is not limited to, the construction of an elevated gateway bridge over South University Boulevard to connect the east concourse of Jack Trice Stadium and game day parking east of South University Boulevard. A sidewalk will be added along the east side of the existing stadium ring road. The existing Reiman Gardens fencing on the north will be continued along the west side of University Boulevard.

Jack Trice Stadium-Field Renovation

Total Construction Budget: $220,000

Bid date: 3/12/2020

Begin construction: 11/30/2021

Occupancy / completion: 04/30/2022

This project really caught my eye when I was looking through the list. I wasn’t aware this was happening, but it appears as though they’re planning to completely replace the grass field at Jack Trice Stadium. It might be worth an interview with Cyclone Turfgrass to find out for sure, but I would bet at least part of the motivation for the project is to improve the durability of the turf, especially towards the end of the season as the weather gets cold.

The project consists of, but is not limited to, removal and off-site hauling of existing root zone materials, finish grading, sod installation and irrigation system adjustments. Contractor shall provide all incidental materials and equipment to install to specifications the system shown in the construction documents.

Johnny Majors Practice Field-Expansion

Total Construction Budget: $275,000

Bid date: 6/6/2019

Begin construction: 11/30/2021

Occupancy / completion: 04/30/2022

Another project I wasn’t aware of that caught my eye is the expansion of the outdoor football practice field. This project will expand the Johnny Majors Practice Field. Work will include, but is not limited to: regrading to allow expansion of existing turf and practice field, relocation of irrigation lines, and relocation of fencing and sodding of the field.

Notable Upcoming Bids

Project Anticipated Bid Date
Project Anticipated Bid Date
Parking Lot G7-RV Parking Construction January 2022
Parking Lots B1 and F-Resurfacing and Expansion January 2022
Hilton Coliseum-North and South Concourse Expansion April 2022

These are three major athletics-related projects coming up over the next couple years. The parking lot projects are being bid next January, presumably with intention to complete them in conjunction with the new gateway bridge, which is scheduled to be complete a few days before the 2022 season opener against Southeast Missouri State.

The other notable project here is the $25 million Hilton Coliseum renovations, which include widening concourses and essentially modernizing the half-century-old arena. Given the timeline we typically see for athletics projects, as well as all of the projects scheduled at Jack Trice Stadium, I’m guessing construction will be slated to begin in late March or early April 2023. I’m not intimately familiar with the complete scope of work, but I would assume the goal is to complete the renovations before the beginning of the 2024-2025 basketball season.

Notably absent from the list is anything referencing the entertainment district project which was floated last year as a sort of “Ames Power & Light District.” This isn’t particularly surprising, as its anticipated this particular project is more in the 5-10 year range, rather than anything immediate. Still, the absence of anything relating to that effort does at least indicate that we’re probably at least five years from seeing any ground broken on that project.

I’ll try to keep my ear to the ground on potential future construction projects, and keep you updated if I see anything particularly interesting.