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Johnstone demolition and construction proposals

Finances and Facilities Committee // courtesy

The potential above-campus view would have a large green space replacing the Student Union and Johnstone Hall.

During the Board of Trustees meeting concerning the Finance and Facilities Committee meeting on Oct. 20, an action was requested regarding the Phase II approval for $16 million to establish the project budget for the demolition of Johnstone Hall, which is in close proximity to Core Campus.
Phase I of this project was last approved by the Board of Trustees in October of 2021.
This project consists of demolishing the approximately 132,500 square foot Johnstone Hall and Union Building Complex, as well as smaller facilities associated with University Facilities. According to the Finance and Facilities committee, this demolition project will support the University’s broader strategy to prioritize on-campus space for student-centric needs. Materials and labor costs have increased the project costs from $12 million to $16 million, consistent with construction escalation industrywide.
According to the Finance and Facilities Committee, Johnstone has been completely vacated and requires maintenance expenses to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff living and working near it in Core Campus. Once demolished, the buildings, including Johnstone and the Student Union, will be replaced with green space for student activities.
The project proposal mentions that it will be funded with Maintenance and Stewardship funds and Housing Improvement funds, with an expected project date start in Summer 2023 and concluding in Summer 2024.
Another proposal was asked of the Board of Trustees to construct an Advanced Materials Innovation Complex, which will be the future home to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The facility will provide a state-of-the-art, approximately 143,000 square foot, interdisciplinary research laboratory and teaching facility for the chemistry, materials science and engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering departments and related programs.
This facility is essential to support the significant research and enrollment growth in these disciplines, and to maintain Clemson’s contributions to the State as a public, top-tier research university, according to the Finance and Facilities Committee.
It is also noted in the written-up proposal that research expenditures in these fields are expected to reach approximately $17 million annually by 2026, which is critical to supporting the research goals of the University’s strategic plan. Further, enrollment in these high demand science and engineering disciplines is projected to grow by 25-30% by 2026, which is also noted by the committee proposal.
The Advanced Materials Innovation Complex will include a variety of classrooms, wet and dry laboratories, faculty and administrative offices, lecture halls, seminar rooms and shared spaces that will encourage greater collaboration among students, faculty, staff and industry partners in the science and engineering disciplines.
The facility will support 120 faculty and staff located in the building, along with up to 180 graduate assistants assigned to the research labs, as well as contain undergraduate labs that will accommodate more than 12,000 students a week.
In addition to replacing buildings built between the 1930’s and 1980’s that no longer meet the instructional and research needs of a top-tier research and top-30 public university, this facility will allow for the systematic renovation of several antiquated facilities that are very costly to maintain as laboratory facilities.
The construction is estimated at $130 million. State capital appropriations have been requested through the state budget. The planned funding is $105 million from State Institution Bonds and $25 million from a mix of maintenance and stewardship funds, private funding and state capital appropriations.
Construction would occur over three fiscal years beginning winter 2023 and concluding in the winter of 2025.

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