Alli Joerger – Staff Writer
As the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year begins to see its end, projects on campus are also looking for their stopping points going into the second semester. One particular project making immense progress at this time is the Lund Center construction project. The project is expected to maintain its correct course of construction and stay on the proper timeline moving into the spring.
The project is currently in what is referred to as Phase 1, which is on course for its completion in the spring. “Kraus Anderson [construction company for project] is projecting the Phase 1 Expansion to be completed by mid-April 2022,” Gustavus Director of Athletics, Tom Brown explained. Because of its steadfastness to the timeline, Phase 1 is, “coming along quite well,” Brown said. The building is now enclosed and has heat, which enables construction to begin to shift more towards the interior aspects of the construction. These aspects include walls, flooring, furnishes, and others, according to Brown.
While this interior construction may give the impression that the construction is quite close to completion, it is important to note that this current stage of construction is what Facilities Director Travis Jordan calls the “‘rough in’ phase.” This means that the project is still going through the process of, “installing all of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure systems to support the building,” as well as, “drywall framing/rough in,” Jordan said. However, this stage of the construction is still important as it demonstrates the progress that has been made. It would be difficult or impossible to begin construction on the interior if the building had yet to be enclosed and heated, which is especially important as temperatures begin to cool and exterior construction becomes more difficult to achieve.
Both Brown and Jordan find this stage of construction to be a particularly exciting time for the project, especially based on the interior construction and its promise of progress. Brown explained that he is excited “to see the spaces come to life” in light of the walls and furnishings previously described. Jordan agrees with this idea and explains that it is becoming easier to see everything coming together with the shift towards the interior aspect of Phase 1. Specifically the, “installation of the glass in the wellness areas as it overlooks the football stadium and the stone work front” to be “a visual sign of the great progress of the project,” Jordan said.
Overall, the Gusties have an abundance to continue to be thankful for on campus, especially related to the new developments of the Lund Center. This project is one of massive scale which requires strong leadership and a focus on the long-term visions and goals of the project for our campus and community. “We broke ground last April and it has been exciting to see the project come from a hole in the ground to an almost fully enclosed building. We have been thoroughly impressed with our architectural firm, BWBR, and our construction company, Kraus Anderson, as both groups have been tremendous to work with and have shown great leadership,” Brown said.
Not only can Gusties extend their thanks to the groups on the forefront of construction, they can also be thankful and excited for the many new improvements that will be available to them at the end of Phase 1. The expansion and improvement of Lund Center is something that is advantageous for not only the student-athletes but also for every student on campus seeking to improve or maintain their physical well-being. “When it opens, our students, faculty, and staff will have full access to the Wellness Center, Weight Room, and Student Lounge. There will be five athletic team locker rooms, visiting team locker room, official’s locker rooms, and the men’s and women’s coaches locker rooms completed, as well as the athletics office area,” Brown said.
Looking forward beyond Phase 1, there are several other improvements that Lund Center hopes to make that are contingent on needed funding. Gustavus is hoping to renovate the current Lund Center and also construct a new Field House, Brown explains. However, the college is still working on raising funds to complete these goals. “Once we reach our fundraising goals, the college will share the renovation plans for the current Lund and the timeline for the Field House construction,” Brown said. In combination with the progress in Phase 1, the renovations and the Field House addition will create even more opportunities for students at Gustavus and physically embody the Gustavus goals to improve and provide an excellent learning and living environment for students.