Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Monday, July 20, 2015

The Northwest Passage

As I mentioned in one of my blogs last month, one of the big projects during the summer is redoing the northwest entrance. We want the northwest entrance to be one entrance with doors into each of the two buildings. It is necessary to make the building complex seamless. We do not want there to be two different entrances. By “one entrance” we mean one walkway, one set of steps leading up to the building complex, one roof covering, and one concrete slab across the entire breadth of the entrance. 
Current NW entrance under construction

This entrance is critical to the success of our new building. When we were doing the programming for the building, we measured traffic in and out of every entrance to gain a better understanding of how students used the Eccles building, and to project how students might use the new building complex. We discovered that 75 percent of the students entering the Eccles building entered through the northwest entrance. Because most of the business classes will shift to the new classrooms in the new Huntsman Hall, and because the northwest entrance will be the main entrance to those classrooms, we project that about 85 percent of the student traffic in and out of the business building complex will be through the northwest entrance. This entrance will be well-used! 
NW entrance rendeer
In order to make the entrance more user-friendly, we have made some big changes. First, we more than doubled the number of doors, thereby increasing the capacity of the entrance. There should be no more waiting in lines to get in or out of the business building. Second, we added a snow melt system to the stairs and to the landing area at the top of the stairs. We also added some walk-off mats in the vestibule coming into Huntsman Hall. There should be no more puddling of snow melt inside the halls of the business building. Third, we created an open atrium-like space coming into the building complex. This space will be used for banners, screens with announcements, an informational kiosk, and so on. Students will no longer enter into the building complex and immediately be thrust into the classroom hallways. And fourth, and most importantly, the northwest entrance will also serve as one of the main passageways between the two buildings.

Students will benefit tremendously from the increased usefulness and capacity of the new northwest passage.

Ken Snyder

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Grinding It Out

I was trying to think of something exciting to report. Nothing came to mind. I reviewed the list of things we worked on during the past week. Nothing jumped out and said “write about me.” Then I realized that a lot of the big exciting things are done, and we are now in the phase of taking care of lots of little details. 

Let me use our construction meeting agenda from last week as an example. The construction meeting is our weekly meeting that includes us (the “users”) from the Huntsman School, university facilities representatives, architects, various people from the general contractor, and the state DFCM representative.

We covered 23 items on the agenda. This is actually fewer than what we’ve had on the agenda in recent weeks. The previous two weeks had 35 and 37 items respectively.

Here are some of the items:

· Holes for return air in metal panels

· Switch to LED lighting in corridors and public areas

· Confirm placement of fire extinguisher cabinets

· Resolve conflict between duct and light fixture placement in large tiered classrooms

· Change doors in stairwells to meet fire code

· Approve final Dean’s Suite design

· Handrail on bridges between buildings on Level 3

· Ensure power and data to the Huntsman Library

· And so on…

Maybe you can see why nothing jumped out at me and said “write about me.”

I am happy to report that of the 23 items on the agenda, eight items were completely closed. six other items were decided and acted upon and just needed the paperwork to catch up to the work in order to be closed. All of the other items were designated as action items and assigned to the appropriate people for action.

I suspect every weekly meeting will be a lot like this from now on until the building is finished. Grinding through lots of little details…

Ken Snyder

Monday, June 22, 2015

Plywood Windows?

Starting this week, the construction crews will start installing plywood over all of the windows on the south and west sides of Huntsman Hall. It will look like the building has plywood windows. I am writing this blog in anticipation of being asked the question, “Uh, why does your new business building have plywood windows – don’t you have enough money for glass windows?”

So here’s the answer to the obvious question. 

Yes, we do have enough money for glass windows. Matter of fact, the glass windows are all installed. We are now covering all of the windows to protect them while we install the shades on the building. If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you may remember my blog from April 11, 2014 titled “So Bright You’ve Gotta Wear Shades.” The shades are to control the heat gain in the building, and to reduce the demand for air conditioning on hot days. This picture is a rendering with a red arrow pointing to one of the shades.

The answer to that question may lead to a few other questions, such as:

· Why do you need to cover the windows with plywood?

That’s a great question. It’s because the shades are welded to the support structure, and sparks from the welding process may damage the windows.

· Why didn’t you install the shades first and then install the windows – instead of having to put plywood over all of them?

Because the windows are so large that they cannot be installed once the shades are in place.

So now you know why we have plywood windows. It will only last a few weeks.

Ken Snyder

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


With classes running full tilt, and with thousands of students around, there are certain construction items we can’t do very easily when school is on. Summertime gives us a chance to do these construction items with less impact.

We have a few big construction items we are tackling this summer. Most of these items are related to entrances, or to the connections between our current Eccles Building and the new Huntsman Hall. The entrance most affected by construction is the main entrance used by over 75% of the people who enter the business building – the entrance on the northwest corner of the Eccles Building. We want this entrance to serve as a seamless entrance into both buildings. This will require jackhammering up the existing concrete steps, rebuilding the steps as a single, seamless unit, adding snow melt so the entrance will be easy to navigate in the winter, and making the entrance look and feel like it is one entrance into the business building complex. I have attached a rendering of what the entrance will look like by the end of summer.

There are six connections between the two buildings. We are also finalize the work on all of those connections this summer to avoid having to do the work when classes are on and students are roaming about. More on that later…
Ken Snyder

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Last Beam

A few months ago, I celebrated the pouring of the last slab of concrete for our new Huntsman Hall (see “The LastSlab” post from the 24th of February). This past week, we reached another “the last” milestone – the last beam. Beams are the structural steel that supports the building. Workers installed the last beam on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

This symbolizes the final step of completing the structure of the building. Granted, most of the structure was installed months ago – especially on the west wing of the building and the south wing of the building. We’ve really been building three different buildings – the two wings are two of the buildings, and the curved space that connects the two wings, and houses the cafeteria, the student lounges, and other spaces, is the third building. This third space has lagged the other two due to space and construction constraints.

The location of the last beam is above the grand entrance at the SW corner of the building. It connects to, and supports, the grand staircase (see “Stairway to Heaven” postings dated 13 Aug2014 and 14 April 2015).

I have attached some photos from the perspective of being inside the new building looking out. Enjoy one more milestone in the progress of Huntsman Hall!
Ken Snyder

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away?

So far this month, it has rained 22 of the 27 days. The most common question I’ve been asked the past few weeks is, “how is the rain impacting the construction schedule?”

Throughout the winter, we were blessed with terrific construction weather. We had an incredibly large number of warm, snow-free days. It helped us reach a point where we can plan for construction being completed in December of this year.

Ken Snyder
The truth is, rain doesn’t really impact the construction schedule at this point. The building is mostly sealed in. The places that aren’t sealed in are OK – mainly the middle section on the curve of the boomerang – the rain doesn’t slow down or stop construction. The roofers can install roofing, the welders can weld, and so on. And the rain doesn’t do any damage. About the only problem with rain is that sometimes it is necessary for one of the construction workers to go out and squeegee off the rainwater.

A few days ago, it was raining (surprise!). As I do many days, I walked-through the building, I counted over 130 workers in the building. One was doing the squeegee work. All of the others were engaged in working on the building.