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New SOU Dorms Under Construction

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ASHLAND, Ore. – In the coming weeks, you’ll see even more progress on the new Southern Oregon University dorms. Construction crews are taking advantage of the warm, dry weather to get ahead of schedule.

SOU officials are calling this Ashland’s largest construction project in history and the project engineer says so far everything has gone smoothly. Right now, the north campus village dorms are in the stage of rough carpentry.

“So we still have the stages of bringing in drywall and sheetrock and finishing out putting down flooring putting down equipment, especially all the duct work, the electrical,” explains Project Engineer Bailey Wilfong.

When this facility goes online the old cascade complex will come down, and so will the electricity bill.

“What we’re doing is replacing the most inefficient building on campus with the most efficient building on campus,” says Southern Oregon University’s Jim Beaver

The Cascade Complex, where 600 students will spend the next two semesters, uses 60% of the campus’s steam energy. The new dorms will use less energy and will be Leed certified; part of that certification requires construction crews to recycle and prevent waste on site.

“We have lots of recycling bins on site for all the wood scrap all the concrete scrap, metal, cardboard all of that gets brought to different recycling facilities and we’re trying to minimize the actual waste that goes into a landfill,” explains Wilfong. “There’s a lot of record keeping during the construction process on how many yards or how many tons and where they go. So at the end of the job, we can get an actual percentage of how much we diverted from being put into a landfill and recycled in various ways.”

In September you’ll see all four floors and a roof on the south hall. In October you’ll see shingles, siding, and windows. The months following, outside observers won’t see a whole lot.

“We should look like we’re making a lot of progress over the next few months you’ll see a lot of changes, but come December it’ll start…at least on the south building…we’ll be almost completely focused on the inside of the building,” says the project engineer.

Another part of the project includes a 500 person dining hall that will be adjacent to the dorms. All of these three buildings will be ready come fall semester of 2013.