Pine Grove upgrades postponed

Pine Grove housing renovations will be delayed until next summer. Pine Grove was set to be renovated this summer.

Dawn Isler, the director of auxiliary services, previously said interior renovations would have included carpeting the bedrooms, painting and removing built-in features from Pine Grove Central dorms. The renovations will be delayed because of higher-than-expected bids for construction, said Ron Portwine, the associate vice president for Administrative and Business Affairs.

“The construction portion of the budget was $1.4 million, and we expected the bids to come in near that amount,” he said. “The three bids submitted ranged from $2.3 million to $3.4 million, exceeding the budgeted amount by 64 to 143 percent.”

The SVSU Board of Control had approved a renovation budget of $1.8 million.

“The project was competitively bid, and bids came in significantly higher than the budget,” Portwine said. “This resulted in the decision to delay the project.”

Portwine said Housing hopes the delay in construction will result in lower bids.

“Hopefully, rebidding the work this fall will result in more-favorable responses and reduce the need to modify the scope of the project,” he said. “If necessary, we may need to defer something like replacement of mechanical systems to a later year in order to stay within the defined budget.”

Deferred renovations could include air conditioning, furnaces and water heaters. Portwine said Pine Grove will still have some updates over the summer.

“Interior LED lighting is an ongoing initiative within academic and residential buildings,” he said. “We are currently evaluating interior lighting options for Pine Grove and hope to complete upgrades yet this summer.”

Over the summer, maintenance crews will still address painting and “critical maintenance,” Portwine said.

SVSU housing was ranked second in the nation by Niche, and Housing has been performing regular maintenance to keep student satisfaction with dorms high. Isler said Housing is waitlisted for next year.

“We reserve sufficient bed space to accommodate incoming students, and the balance is made available to our returning residents,” Portwine said. “Our goal is to accommodate as many students as possible who want to live on campus.”

Kaitlyn Farley

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