Construction update - 6 July 2015

Campus community,

Good morning.

A key focus in our strategic plan (Priority Four) is improving the campus’s physical environment and infrastructure. This priority ensures that Henderson State University will embrace advanced systems that contribute to our overall sustainability and environmental stewardship initiatives. Very soon we will begin work on one of those key initiatives – the installation of a chilled-water loop throughout campus. This energy-savings project was funded through the issuance of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds and Educational Facilities Energy Conservation Bonds.

Surveying was conducted in the early part of the summer to prepare for the chilled-water loop installation, which is scheduled to begin in the last part of July. This construction will involve digging trenches in some portions of the campus and boring tunnels for installation in other portions. Two chillers will be installed to provide improved air conditioning and humidity control in all but a few buildings on the main campus. Piping to buildings not initially connected will be stubbed out and connected to the chiller system at a later date.

This 18-month project will require patience as parking lots and sidewalks will at times be closed and traffic re-routed while contractors complete their work.

Other projects

Construction on Henderson’s new residence hall and apartment complex continues. We expect to open all the apartments and a majority of the rooms in the new residence hall in time for students to move in by mid-August. The university will complete LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification of these facilities after they are opened, reinforcing the campus community’s commitment to the best-in-class and sustainable building practices. Renovations on Ridge Pointe (formerly Whispering Oaks) are nearly complete as well.

In addition, construction on the parking lots, fences, seating and lighting at our athletic facilities and new multi-purpose field continue. Also on-going is a project to improve lighting in both Arkansas Hall and the Art Annex as well as mold abatement in campus buildings.

Future plans

With Aramark assuming responsibility for facilities management on campus, we will all see changes in how our campus is cleaned and maintained. You may have noticed Aramark representatives performing a survey of interior spaces recently; an analysis of this data will help determine the best approach to cleaning and maintaining interior spaces across campus.

During July, landscape architects will be on campus to assess our current landscaping and begin planning how the grounds will be managed moving forward. This study will help determine if improved processes for watering, planting and maintenance are needed as well as establishing snow removal and soil analysis plans.

One of the most exciting changes we all will see with Aramark is the use of blue cleaning. This approach to regular building maintenance emphasizes the use of techniques and materials that are safer for custodians, students, faculty and staff while reducing waste and the possibility of a negative environmental impact. Our blue cleaning changes will involve the use of microfiber cloths that can be changed easily to reduce the chance of cross contamination. These cloths may also be washed, reducing the number of paper products the university uses to clean across campus. Blue cleaning also involves the use of electronically activated water instead of harsh cleaning products that can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals.

Today’s communication marks the second in a regular and continuing series of updates on how Henderson State University is working to meet its goals in Priority Four of the strategic plan. Together, we can make the campus a leader in sustainability and environmental responsibility. Thank you for your attention to this priority, as well as the others in the plan, as we work to improve Henderson State University for everyone in the campus community.