Samford makes progress on campus master plan

Asia Burns, Editor-in-Chief

Samford officials are preparing to take the next step toward completing the campus master plan. The master plan, which was initially presented last semester in a series of student and faculty forums, lays out a four-phase construction process intended to improve Samford over the next 20-year period.

The finished plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees in a week, Chief Strategy Officer Colin Coyne said. But, he added, there are many updates being made to campus “that you can’t see.”

One such update is the construction of a new campus chilled water plant.

“The new chiller plant improves energy efficiency by 50 percent, while increasing cooling capacity by 22 percent,” Environmental and Campus Enhancement Coordinator Amber Kustos said. “This should be complete by the end of the spring semester.”

Kustos noted that April 30 is the anticipated start-up date.

“We actually are running off of temporary chillers right now,” Coyne said, “so we need to get that done by April before it starts getting warm again.”

Another subtle change is to the thermostats on campus. According to Kustos, Johnson Controls has run cable and installed new  thermostats “as part of our new Building Automation System.”

“The updated BAS will allow the facilities team to properly schedule space conditions, reduce energy consumption and identify maintenance needs remotely before they become a problem,” Kustos said.

Lighting upgrades, window replacements and improvements to sealants on campus buildings are also scheduled to take place within the next month.

Coyne said that nearly $51 million has been invested in campus improvement so far, with “the first $32 million [going to] the campus infrastructure improvement.”

“It is very clear to our donors where their money is going or will go,” Coyne said.

“We have to manage the ongoing maintenance needs of the campus while we execute the master plan,” Coyne said.

Immediate updates—such as the replacement of water units in residential housing and the completion of additional Greek housing—are scheduled to be complete within the next year. However, officials have put soft timelines into place for each phase of the plan.

“All in all—because you never know what you’re going to run into—we’ve laid out three to five years to finish [the first phase.]” Coyne said.


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