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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 was Gage decommissioned?

The Gage Residence Community was built in 1964 and 1965. It consisted 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 had too many of the same room type: basic double rooms. Diversification of room type was needed to meet the variety of student needs.
     
  • Gage, like other high-rise residence halls, was not 'human scale.' Students can feel anonymous, contributing to higher rates of vandalism than in smaller buildings.
     
  • Gage was separated from academic buildings by a busy county road. Vehicle/pedestrian accidents occurred.
     
  • The two towers' floor-to-floor height of 8 feet constricted options to provide contemporary heating, ventilation and cooling systems.
     
  • The narrow interior hallways were 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) were past the end of their useful lives and required replacement.
     
  • Building code changes around vertical circulation - elevators and stairs - were significant since construction of the building. A building renovation would trigger requirements to have met 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 housing with a unit type that provides more privacy, more storage, sound attenuation and temperature control. 
     
  • Locate 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.  

  

Were 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 were all long-term benefits. 

So what happened with the Gage site?

The building was decommissioned in the fall of 2012.  Reusable items were salvaged and hazardous materials were 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 was the building torn down?

Demolition took place in summer of 2013.