Gov. Nathan Deal’s recent budget proposal includes funding for a $5 million renovation of the engineering lab at Kennesaw State’s Marietta campus.
Deal’s budget proposal for the fiscal year 2019 includes an extra $167 million for K-12 education as well as $271 million in bonds for capital projects, including major repairs, renovation and construction toward the University System of Georgia.
A proposal for the engineering lab project has been approved by the House and the Senate, but Gov. Deal has until May to sign the Board of Regents’ capital outlay.
Senior Director of Facility Design & Construction Services Andrew Yakimovich said the renovation plans include the expansion of the existing IT infrastructure and the replacement of the engineering lab’s original electrical system, the HVAC system, the roof and the original single-paned windows.
“KSU plans to pursue as much renovation as possible with the funding available,” Yakimovich said.
The 35,036 square foot lab has been standing since 1962 as part of the original Southern Polytechnic State University campus. It was last renovated in 1984 to include the infill offices on the first floor of the building.
Yakimovich said the lab is currently in “poor condition” and is in need of the new renovations in order to keep the building functioning properly for KSU’s engineering students.
“The engineering lab building has seen very little fundamental improvement to its structure or building systems,” Yakimovich said. “Aging electrical, plumbing, mechanical systems and communications systems have reached the point that a complete renovation of the building is needed.”
Yakimovich said that numerous concerns regarding the building’s structure and lack of up-keep have been expressed through master planning surveys, meetings and town halls.
The building is highly used by students as KSU offers 20 undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees and engineering technology degrees.
“This project will result in improved operational effectiveness with improved energy efficiency and associated cost savings,” Yakimovich said. “The conversion will help address maintenance issues and malfunctions which have plagued the laboratory over the years and provide a more user-friendly environment for learning and education.”
A science lab addition to the building has already also been funded to compliment this project. The science lab addiction will replace all of the current outdated labs, Yakimovich said.
If Gov. Deal signs the project proposal in May, then the selection process for an architect is expected to begin in October.