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$19 million upgrades are in progress



Published: Sat, June 18, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The recreation and wellness center carries the most expensive price.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- With most of its students not on campus, Youngstown State University is working on almost $19 million worth of improvements.

Most of the work will be finished by Aug. 29, the first day of the fall semester, YSU officials say.

At the top of the list is the $12.1 million, 67,000-square-foot Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center on the west side of Kilcawley Center, YSU's student center.

The center was to open in mid-August, a few weeks before the first day of the fall semester. But construction, which began in April 2004, is a little behind schedule and the project may not be done until early September, said John Hyden, YSU's executive director of facilities and support services.

"We haven't given up on Aug. 15, but it depends on the weather," he said.

The center will include a fitness center, climbing wall, indoor running track and racquetball courts.

Private donations from individuals and foundations paid for the Andrews center.

Bookstore

YSU is also spending about $1.6 million to expand its bookstore from 12,000 square feet to 16,000 square feet as well as make renovations to the facility.

The bookstore will be connected to Andrews through a walkway with an overhang canopy. The canopy project will cost about $750,000.

The bookstore project, which began in February, will be done by the beginning of the fall semester, Hyden said.

Gateways

YSU began the first phase of its master plan to enhance its main gateways last week. The university is making $1.5 million worth of renovations to two major adjoining parking lots on University Plaza and Bryson Street. The money for the improvements comes from state funding and parking fees.

The lots will be landscaped and surfaced, with new lighting, fencing and walkways that connect the lots to campus. The lots will be finished by the start of the fall semester.

YSU will use state funding for other improvement projects at the university this summer. They are slated to be finished before Aug. 29, Hyden said.

"People think we go home during the summer, but this is our window of opportunity to get projects done," he said. "It's easier to get projects finished during the summer because most of the students aren't on campus."

The university will use $1 million in state money to replace two steamlines. The steamlines go from Stambaugh Stadium to Elm Street, and from Ward Beecher Hall to Williamson Hall.

Other enhancements

Other improvement projects at YSU slated to be finished before Aug. 29:

UA new ceiling, filter system and chemical automation system as well as repairs to cracks and walls, and a paint job at the Beeghly Center pool; cost, $300,000.

UNew floor tile, ceilings, light fixtures, lecterns, desks, chairs and white boards along with a fresh coat of paint on 13 classrooms at DeBartolo Hall; $250,000.

UWork to walls and the floor at Stambaugh Stadium; $250,000.

UConcrete replacement to the west driveway and the plaza at the stadium; $230,000.

UUpgrades to various exterior doors and windows at YSU buildings; $175,000. This work will cause some entrances to campus buildings to be closed this summer for short periods of time.

UImprovements to three classrooms and a corridor at Beeghly Center. The work will be finished by June 30; $76,000.

YSU will also spend $500,000 for masonry restorations at several buildings and plazas during the next fiscal year. The restoration will not be finished in time for the start of the fall semester.

skolnick@vindy.com




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