Busy summer campus construction season underway

With the academic year in the rearview mirror, backhoes, cranes and cement trucks take over campus as another busy summer construction season moves into high gear at Youngstown State University.

“We’ve known for some time that this was going to be a hectic summer, with lots of new construction and improvements, both interior and exterior, across campus,” said Rich White, YSU director of Planning and Construction.

The most prominent projects include:

  • The new Cafaro Field on the north side of campus. The $2.5 million field along Elm Street adjacent to the Cafaro House residence hall is funded in part through a $1.5 million gift from the Cafaro Family. The facility, expected to be open in time for the start of the Fall Semester in August, will be used for a variety of student recreational activities, including soccer, lacrosse and ultimate Frisbee
  • The new Don Constantini Multimedia Center atop the east side of Stambaugh Stadium, pictured in the background of the photo at the top of this story. The $3 million facility, funded in part through a $1 million gift from Constantini, will house a classroom for the YSU Department of Communications and host game day media activities for all Stambaugh Stadium events. Completion target is for the first home football game Sept. 7.
  • A new 334-space surface parking lot at Elm Street and the East Bound Service Road, adjacent to the east side of Stambaugh Stadium, pictured in the foreground of the photo at the top of this story. The $1.1 million lot, across from the entrance to the WATTS and previously a set of 10 outdoor tennis courts, is expected to be open for the start of Fall Semester in August. The lot will be open to parking by students, faculty, staff and the Rich Center.
  • A new indoor tennis center on the west side of campus. The $4 million center along West Scott Street is expected to be open by the end of this calendar year and will house six tennis courts, restrooms and locker rooms.

Also in the mix are three classroom building projects, all of which are funded with state capital dollars and are expected to be completed by the start of the Fall Semester in August:

  • Renovation and expansion of the Physical Therapy department in the lower level of Cushwa Hall. Instructional spaces will be upgraded and space once occupied by the Office of Media and Academic Computing will be renovated for expansion of the PT program. $1.8 million.
  • Renovation of the second and third floors of Meshel Hall. The project completes a phased renovation of the building started three years ago. Classroom facilities will be created on the fourth floor, as well as expansion of restroom facilities. $2.25 million.
  • Structural repairs in the lower level mechanical spaces of Ward Beecher Hall. $1.75 million.
Architect's rendering of the Mahoning Valley Innovation and Commercialization Center at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West Commerce Street.

In addition, work on the Mahoning Valley Innovation and Commercialization Center is slated to start in July, with a targeted completion by Fall Semester 2020. The $11.5 million project, funded via a combination of federal, state and private funds, will be housed in an existing building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West Commerce Street in downtown Youngstown, adjacent to campus. The project includes a 32,000-square-foot addition to the building along Fifth Avenue.

The center is a partnership that includes YSU, Eastern Gateway, county career and technical centers, Youngstown Business Incubator, America Makes, Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center, regional economic development organizations and the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition. It will be a training center designed to become a hub of workforce development, innovation and research, particularly focused on advanced manufacturing.

Also this summer, demolition is to start soon on the old City Printing building on the corner of Phelps and Wood streets, across from Williamson Hall. The property will be converted into surface parking spaces.

Architect's rendering of Campus Lofts student apartments.

And finally, a private developer - Campus Lofts LLC - has announced plans to begin construction this summer on a $12 million student housing complex adjacent to campus. The four-story complex will be on the southeast corner of Wick and Rayen avenues, across the street from the Youngstown and Mahoning County Main Library. The former St. Vincent DePaul thrift store building and the adjacent Penguin Place building are being demolished to make way for the new development, expected to open for Fall Semester 2020.