By Karen Fernau
GCU News Bureau
Construction crews at Grand Canyon University are powering through the heat to finish a six-story residence hall by August and stay on track with ambitious renovations of sports facilities.
According to University officials, the projects – all by family-owned Pono Construction of Phoenix – are going according to plan.
“The construction workers are great and are working through the heat to finish the projects on schedule,” said Tim Baron, associate athletic director for Facilities and Operations.
One of the most visible construction sites is the expansion of the baseball stadium on the west side of campus. When complete in January, the stadium will include chair-back seats wrapping around the infield, berm seating down the first-base line, two broadcast booths and an expanded concession stand. The project will double seating to 3,000.
“The improvements will completely change the atmosphere for the fans, beginning with walking up to the stadium. The renovated stadium will brighten the game-day experience,” Baron said.
Grounds crews are continuing to maintain the fields during construction.
Work also is underway to expand the softball stadium to include 1,200 chair-back seats, an enclosed press box, a concession stand and restrooms. That stadium also will be ready for the 2018 season.
“Both stadiums will be impressive, and we are bringing in some really good teams to play,” Baron said. “It will be an exciting season for both softball and baseball.”
Meanwhile, construction continues on a 7,000-square-foot addition to the Lopes Performance Center designed to improve the athletic spaces and fitness rooms for students, staff and faculty.
The first-floor sports medicine and sports performance facility will house two hydrotherapy pools, three designated weight-training areas and a fueling station to assist with the nutritional needs of student-athletes. The additions also will create nearly 5,000 square feet of space for student use.
On the east side of campus, crews are placing the final touches on the exterior of the Diamondback Apartments on 29th Avenue.
Work on the inside is expected to be completed by mid-August, said Matt Hopkins, director of Residence Life.
The power is on, the air conditioning is working, appliances are being installed and beds are being delivered.
“The last step is the white-glove test where we check to make sure everything is clean,” Hopkins said.
Diamondback, like the other new apartments on campus (Agave, Encanto, Papago and Roadrunner), feature four single-person bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a communal living space.
Contact Karen Fernau at (602) 639-8344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.