College Courts renovations to continue in near future

Renovations that began in July will continue during the course of the academic year for College Courts.

Kim Oatman, Murray State’s chief facilities officer, said improvements to College Courts are made as funds become available and that scheduled routine maintenance is performed throughout the year.

The work started this summer was made possible by funds allocated from an agency bond Facilities Management received in March, the result of the February signing of House Bill 7 by Gov. Steve Beshear. House Bill 7 allows universities to self-fund projects on their campuses instead of depending on state funding.

Murray received $15.4 million dollars as a result of this signing, $4.9 million of which was set aside for assorted facilities improvements, which include those made to College Courts this summer and $590,000 of which was specifically to be used in the installation of new sprinkler systems.

The remaining $9.9 million dollars is for the renovations of Hester Residential College.

“At a time when we are pushing our students to pursue higher education, it’s imperative that they have adequate classrooms, housing and facilities, and the issuance of these bonds will accelerate those projects to meet those needs quickly,” Beshear said.

The new sprinkler system for College Courts was scheduled to be partially installed this July and to be completed during the following year in phases, but Oatman said they were forced to stop work on this project.

“We had planned to install some sprinkler systems in some of the buildings this summer, but due to some delays in the engineering process, we were not able to accomplish this,” he said. “However, we plan to do the sprinkler project next summer.”

Although the new sprinkler systems were not able to be installed, Facilities Management did work to rid of asbestos and installed new flooring in six of the College Courts buildings.

Oatman said Facilities Management has recently been contracted to replace four roofs at College Courts. Work on the roof tops of the apartments will begin within the next week.

He said plans have also been made to upgrade some of the exteriors of the buildings, including new windows and soffits.

Renovations to Hester Residential College will continue throughout the school year to fix several problems in the building. The improvements will include replacing the current electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems, lavatory improvements, along with flooring, ceiling and lighting upgrades.