The steel frame that will be bookstore’s backbone has been erected and stands ready for the roof and walls, said Jim Millsap, project superintendent.
While students are out of school for the break, the employees of R.K. Redding Construction will be focusing on some of the work that cannot be done with 14,000 people passing each day. On Monday, crews poured new sidewalks on the corner of University Drive and West Georgia Drive where the bookstore will stand.
“We’ve been getting a lot of feedback, from the community, from students, from people who don’t live anywhere around here,” Millsap said. “It’s caused a lot of buzz.”
He said students understand that the new bookstore will enhance the campus and make the bookstore a more efficient facility.
“For the university right now, the hardest part is getting books into the kids’ hands,” Millsap said.
The current store is a small building hidden behind McDonald’s, and the student body has outgrown the space, according to Bob Swanson, assistant director of Auxiliary Services at UWG.
“We’re very excited to have this facility for West Georgia and the students of West Georgia,” Swanson said.
Millsap said some of the unique energy-efficient and environmental aspects of the building have added some complexity to the work, but the project remains on schedule. For the next few months, the work should move smoothly and quickly.
The building will collect rain water from the roof and use it to hydrate landscaping. The roof will be slanted to make the most use of natural light and allow the sun to help heat the building during the winter, shading the inside more during the summer to help the interior remain cool.
The design of the building combines elements from many of the buildings recently constructed on campus. The facility will be eye-catching, while still fitting well with the other structures on campus, Swanson said.
Mike Conley, executive director of AEC Project Services at UWG, said the basic structure of the building should be complete in February. It is expected to be finished in May, allowing the bookstore staff to move items over during the summer and officially opening the facility in conjunction with the beginning of the fall 2011 semester.
The $5 million building is being constructed with bond money. The bonds will be repaid with the revenue generated from sales at the store.
Conley said the bookstore and the library construction projects are being done by outside contractors, but the break is an opportune time for the school’s maintenance crews to catch up as well.
Campus employees will focus on doing work that cannot be done while students are in session, like changing the grease traps in the Z-6 building.
“Every Christmas break, we get into almost all of the buildings and do a lot of repair work,” he said.