Medary renovation continues for 2014

Jordan Smith Managing Editor

 Next year, prospective students and current students alike will have an easier time accessing services of the Admissions and Financial Aid offices. These offices among other student services will be located in a renovated Medary Commons building, set to open at the end of May 2014.

Moving the Admissions and Financial Services to the outside of campus has been a part of the 2025 Master Plan. According to Dean Kattelmann, assistant vice president of facilities and services, because SDSU is moving toward being a walking campus, Medary Commons will offer a one-


 stop shop for student services. 

The construction company that was chosen by the Board of Regents Building Committee to complete the project is GA Johnson Construction Inc. out of Sioux Falls, with a budget of $2,812,500. The budget for furnishings is $150,000 and will include an upscale reception area and a welcoming environment. The architecture firm for the project is Koch Hazard Architects out of Sioux Falls. The money for the project is coming from the higher education facility fund, according to Marysz Rames, vice president for student affairs.

The construction company was chosen through a bid process. There was an advertisement for people to put in a proposal for the construction of facility. The state system takes the lowest bid. All bids were over the budget, so they took the lowest bid over the price and negotiated with the construction company.

Included in the new Medary Commons will be the Enrollment Service Center, Admissions Office, Financial Aid, Registration and Records and Scholarship Offices. The lower level will be used for storage and meeting rooms.

There are tentative plans on the backfill of the current Administration building, according to Kattelmann. 

According to Rames, it is going to be a yearlong project and the project has been delayed in getting going. There will also be a space for greeting incoming students and their parents.

Currently, it is difficult to tell prospective students where to go to get to the Administration Building.

“This is a high quality institution and it is cumbersome to give instructions to the current admissions office,” Rames said. “It is easy to direct people to Medary Commons and it creates a nice image of the university.”

For students on campus to walk to the financial aid office it is no big deal, but for students who are off campus, getting to the center of campus is not easy, Rames said. In addition, the new Medary Commons will offer drive-up access to the parking lot.

“The location is user friendly with adjacent parking and additional space for admissions,” project manager Jennifer Quail said.

Included in the renovation will be a small waiting area with kiosks for self-help help stations and 19 private offices, according to Quail. There will be a large reception space and waiting area that will seat around 40-50. There will be private offices and along with open space. 

“The private offices will offer space for families to meet one-on-one with whoever they need and the waiting room will be a place for them to wait for their tour or admissions staff,” Quail said.

The contractor will be on site before the end of the month, and completion is set for mid May to early June, Quail said. The project is slated to start after Thanksgiving, according to Kattelmann.

The construction won’t affect the traffic on Medary Avenue, but a portion of 11th Street across from the Agricultural Heritage Museum will be closed to allow for construction vehicles. There will still be access to the west side of Medary, Quail said.

“It makes sense to locate the admissions, financial aid, [etc] offices out from the center of campus,” Rames said.