By Christopher Gillett
The Ohio State Controlling Board recently allocated $178,800 to Youngstown State University for the Building Envelope Renovations Project. The money will specifically be used for designing the project’s construction.
The funds were given specifically for architectural engineering fees, which involves paying an outside architect to do the design work, field work and construction management.
When YSU does its construction project funding requests, it first goes to the Ohio Department of Higher Education, with outlined plans for the next six years.
Richard White, the director of capital planning and construction for the Planning and Construction Department at YSU, said that project approvals are a part of a normal series of monetary requests YSU files every two years with the state government.
“Every two years … every biennium we get so much money from the state to do these types of renovations,” White said. “Every two years they ask us to submit our list of projects. They’ll approve that list of projects. That money will be sitting there.”
After, the money is sent to the Ohio State Controlling Board, which is a committee consisting of three state senators and three state representatives, to approve the funding’s release. YSU is still waiting for the release of the total monetary request for the project, which was over $2 million together.
The project’s main focus will be on building envelopes, which are the exteriors of buildings that separate the inside of the building from the outside environment. Examples of envelopes include doors, windows and brick wall exteriors. Envelope corrosion can lead to outside air and water going into the building.
Beeghly Center, particularly its brick walls and steel frame, will be the project’s main focus. White said the project has been in discussion for several months.
“There’s a lot of deferred maintenance. Some of it is crucial that we do right away,” White said. “This was one [project] that we’ve been having on our radar for quite a while.”
YSU hired Domokur Architects Inc. from Akron, Ohio for the design. White said the university usually develops projects through the department, however it sometimes relies on outside architects.
“We develop the project in house. Essentially, what we do is we have our own little architectural engineering firm in the university,” White said. “If it’s something maybe out of our expertise, we’ll go hire somebody to do that, and that’s the case for the Building Envelope [Renovations] Project.”
After designing is finished, interested companies will bid on contracts the project’s construction. There will likely be money left over after Beeghly Center’s renovations which will be used for envelope renovations on other buildings like DeBartolo and Moser Halls.
Typically, projects are done over the summer when less students are on campus. The whole project is expected to be finished by the end of 2023.