Post Construction Progresses

LEXINGTON, Va., July 11, 2017 – While the majority of cadets are off on summer furlough, employees in VMI’s Physical Plant and Construction Office are managing projects all over post to repair and maintain the Institute’s buildings.

Some of the bigger projects to be tackled this summer will be placing a new floor in Crozet Hall, putting a new roof on Cameron Hall, fixing several leaks in the Clark King Pool, and restoring windows in Barracks.

Crozet Hall

Starting in the fall, cadets will see a brand-new floor in Crozet Hall. A construction crew is working all summer to pull up the existing floor, which had an old, red tile and was repaired over the years with red-dyed concrete. The red tiles had been in place since the 1930s.

Contractors work in Crozet Hall, the Institute's main dining facility.
Contractors work to refloor Crozet Hall. – VMI Photo by Maj. John Robertson IV.

Col. Keith Jarvis, deputy director of construction, said the new tile will be a blue-gray, slate color set up to look like natural stone.

During construction, however, the mess hall still has to remain open for cadets attending summer classes. The main room has been lined with plastic and the second floor sealed off so dust from the construction would not go into the food preparation area and temporary eating areas, he said.

Jarvis said a future project idea could be increasing the amount of seating in Crozet so the entire Corps could sit in the mess hall at the same time. The goal of that project would be to add partial indoor balconies along the side walls.

“If every cadet came here, there wouldn’t be room,” he said.

The flooring project’s cost is approximately $900,000. The work is set to be complete in mid-July.

Cameron Hall

The 36-year-old roof on Cameron Hall, VMI’s arena for hosting athletic contests and also Corps-wide events such as matriculation and graduation, will be replaced during the summer.

The roof “has been considered VMI’s top reroofing priority for a number of years,” according to Maj. Arthur B. “Skip” Dunbar III, Physical Plant staff architect. The existing roof, which is beyond its useful life, has been leaking badly in recent years.

For this project, which started in late May, the existing roof will be removed, along with some asbestos removal. It will be replaced with a rubber membrane on the flat-sloped roof.

During construction, the Athletic Department did lose the use of its parking lot in favor of storage and staging for the construction crews. The $779,876 project is expected to wrap up by the end of July.

Clark King Pool

The Clark King Pool has had a problem with leaks for years, since it was built with no structural connection between the side walls and the pool slab.

The Clark King pool sits empty while work progresses.
The Clark King Pool's new features include a lining and a new stainless steel gutter.  – VMI Photo by Maj. John Robertson IV.

The estimated leaks were in amounts up to 8 inches of water loss per night, beginning three years ago. The last year saw less than 3 inches of water loss per night with controls, Dunbar said.

“The only thing preventing leaks is back-up rods and caulk at this joint.  Based on the movement of the slab when it is filled and emptied, leaks continue to be a problem,” he said.

He added that a more recent study of the problem suggested a pool liner, replacement of the existing gutters with stainless steel, and the addition of a balance tank for the 210,000-gallon pool. All of that work will be completed this summer.

“Upon completion these items should prevent any further leaks and also improve pool conditions for NCAA competitions, VMI training, and open swims,” Dunbar said.

The project has minor impacts on the Physical Education department as the pool has minimal use in the summer. The $452,000 project is expected to wrap up by Aug. 11.

Barracks Window Restoration

During the summer, Physical Plant employees are working to restore 56 window sashes on both the Old and New Barracks. Additionally, 40 temporary sashes were constructed and will be put in place during the upcoming school year so the original sashes would be removed and repaired during the winter months.

At the end of this summer’s renovation, the department will have completed the restoration of 288 windows with a total cost of $1.3 million, according to Maj. Barbara Botkin, Physical Plant senior project manager.

Old and New Barracks were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and the windows must adhere to strict considerations for repairs, she said.

In 2014, a survey was conducted on the wood windows in Barracks and windows were classified under three grades ranging from immediate repairs or replacement to primarily cosmetic. This summer’s restoration is part of the recommendations for window repairs from that survey.

-Ashlie Walter

-VMI-

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