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Salisbury University projects to be done by summer

SALISBURY — The massive overhaul now transforming the face of Salisbury University’s campus is, according to officials, moving along nicely and all work should be wrapped up by summer.

There are four active projects ongoing: construction of the new Perdue School of Business and the Seagull Square residence hall and retail complex, and the renovations of the school’s other residence halls, as well as the Noland building, which will soon house a maintenance facility.

With the new Perdue School of Business in the “mid-construction” phase, as described by Facilities Planner Terence McCann, “there’s nothing special to see, because it’s just steel, studs and bricks. But come back in February, and it’ll look like an academic building.”

The university broke ground on the school in September 2009; however, a building dedicated to the business track has been in the works for some time. It wasn’t until the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation made an $8 million donation in 2006 that plans for the building came to fruition. The 112,800-square-foot, three-story facility, slated to cost a total of $56 million, has a completion deadline of June 9.

Seagull Square is also slated to wrap up next summer. The building is SU’s first “mixed-use complex,” in that it will house several retail stores. Jason Rhodes, a spokesman for SU, declined to comment on which retail stores the building will feature, as “the management company has the documentation under review.”

The building has 23,000 square feet of retail space, with a total size of 230,000 square feet. The five-story, $45 million facility will house upperclassmen in 185 apartment-style units, holding 605 beds.

A 2007 survey identified the university’s need for additional student housing. Simply put, McCann said, more students want to live on campus.

“The university has a total headcount of 8,400, and we house a very small percentage of that number,” he said, adding that before renovations began on the traditional residence halls and construction of Seagull Square got under way, the campus could house 725 students. After the work is completed, the university will be able to accommodate 2,200 students.

So far, four residence halls have been renovated, three of which that have been equipped with a geothermal heating and cooling system. McCann said he hopes to have all residence halls complete by January.

Once the Noland building, located on South Division Street, is renovated, the university’s current maintenance building, which stands behind Seagull Square, will be demolished and the area will become an open green space.

McCann said while it may appear that SU is growing, or “exploding,” that’s not the case.

“SU is catching up and trying to facilitate our current student body,” he said. “In 1925, the only building on campus was Holloway Hall. Over time, you outgrow your facilities and have to do things … like build the new Perdue School.”

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