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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Gage Decommissioning

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/reslife/construction/gage_decommissioning.html

Why will Gage be decommissioned?

The Gage Residence Community was built in 1964 and 1965. It consists of two 12-story towers and a central commons/dining building. In the 60's, high-rise residence halls were being built across the nation as a cost-effective way to provide housing for baby boomers entering college. Forty years later, as the debt for Gage was retired, the University studied renovation of the two towers in order to meet the needs of students for the next forty years.

The findings of this study included the following key points:
 

  • The University has too many of the same room type: basic double rooms. Diversification of room type is needed to meet the variety of student needs.
     
  • Gage, like other high-rise residence halls, is not 'human scale.' Students can feel anonymous, contributing to higher rates of vandalism than in smaller buildings.
     
  • Gage is separated from academic buildings by a busy county road. Vehicle/pedestrian accidents have occurred.
     
  • The two towers' floor-to-floor height of 8 feet constricts options to provide contemporary heating, ventilation and cooling systems.
     
  • The narrow interior hallways are bounded by load-bearing walls, limiting expansion of the hallways or functional redesign of the space for another use.
     
  • Building systems (electrical, mechanical, plumbing, windows) are past the end of their useful lives and require replacement.
     
  • Building code changes around vertical circulation - elevators and stairs - have been significant since construction of the building. A building renovation would trigger requirements to meet the current code, pouring dollars into retrofitting these building elements.
     
  • The renovation of the two towers was estimated at $28.8 million in 2004 dollars. Renovation of the Commons building was not studied.
     

These findings yielded the following conclusions:

  • Create new housing with more natural light, higher ceilings, and energy-efficient building systems. 
     
  • Create this housing with a unit type that provides more privacy, more storage, sound attenuation and temperature control. 
     
  • Locate this housing closer to the Carkoski Dining Hall, eliminating the need for two dining halls and lowering operating costs. 
     
  • Demolish Gage and redevelop the site with a use appropriate to the location across Stadium Road.  

  

Are there other advantages to building new facilities?

In addition to lower operating costs because of one dining hall instead of two and centralizing operations, new energy-efficient building systems, sustainable materials, and reuse of the site are all long-term benefits. 

So what will happen with the Gage site?

The building will be decommissioned in the fall of 2012.  Reusable items will be salvaged and hazardous materials will be removed for safe disposal prior to demolition.  Following demolition, the site is slated for redevelopment as parking, consistent with the University's master plan to improve the pedestrian experience by continuing to transition parking to the campus perimeter.

When will the building be torn down?

Water service to the towers has been shut off, and a fence around the building will be in place in the coming weeks.  A University committee is selecting a firm to plan the hazardous material abatement and demolition processes.  It is anticipated that abatement will take place through the winter, and that demolition will take place in the spring/summer of 2013.