Iowa State University


Randy Alexander, Residence, (515) 294-5636
James R. Judy, Facilities, (515) 294-3321
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University has launched an emergency repair project for one of its undergraduate residence halls.

Age and water damage have resulted in deterioration of significant portions of Maple Hall's exterior precast concrete panels. A few small chunks of concrete have fallen off Maple Hall, which is one of the three gray-high rise buildings along Lincoln Way on the east side of campus.

While the building's exterior has serious problems, university officials stressed that students and staff living or working in Maple Hall are safe.

"The work we are doing to improve the integrity of Maple Hall's exterior will ensure the safety of the students who will arrive on campus in the fall," said James R. Judy assistant director for Facilities Planning.

Special precautions have been taken to further ensure safety. An eight-foot chain link fence has been erected around the building and canopies also have been installed at the five entrances to Maple Hall. The building, which was built in 1967, has 272 rooms that house more than 500 students.

Repairs are underway to address the building's immediate needs and related safety issues, but university officials said correcting all the building's problems will require a major renovation project.

"The work will continue through a portion of the fall semester," said Judy. "While there will be some noise, the work shouldn't be a significant nuisance to Maple Hall residents. The building's interior is safe."

An engineering study of Maple Hall, completed this summer by Rietz Consultants, Ltd., Ames, showed significant deterioration to the concrete ribs that surround each of the building's pre-cast concrete panels. Repairs to the deteriorating concrete is required on the exterior of 139 of the 272 student rooms.

The study also found that steel anchors that connect the concrete precast panels to the building's concrete flooring system also have deteriorated. The anchors are being replaced.

The damage appears to be a result of age and moisture. Caulking on the 30-year-old building's exterior has deteriorated, allowing moisture into the building. In addition, fan coil units in student rooms that provide heating and cooling have developed condensation leaks, allowing water to penetrate the building'swall system.

Rietz has recommended a three phase plan to renovate the exterior of Maple Hall. However, university officials are studying how those phases will be completed in terms of scheduling and funding, and how repairs needed to other residence halls might be incorporated, said Judy.

Phase I is already under way with the installation of new anchorages at the base of the deteriorated precast panels. Work has begun to remove and replace deteriorated projecting concrete ribs. Damaged roof flashings will be repaired. Other repairs and further study of the building's condition also will be part of Phase I, which is expected to cost approximately $350,000.

Phase II and III will address water entry in the wall system and removal and replacement of all windows, as well all heating and air conditioning equipment. The facility also will need a new roof. There is not yet a schedule or cost estimate for Phases II and III. It is anticipated that Phase II will start during 1998 spring semester.

"It is important to realize that this work has to be done or the precast panel system will continue to be susceptible to ongoing deterioration," said Judy.

Other buildings in the Maple Hall residence complex are Larch and Willow residence halls and a commons/dining center. Larch Hall and the commons were studied at the same time as Maple Hall and appear to have similar, though significantly less serious problems, said Judy. Repair work will be done on Larch Hall and the commons, possibly as part of the Maple Hall renovation project, said Judy.

Willow Hall was not studied at this time since it went through a restoration project that was planned prior to and under construction during the 1993 floods. However, Judy noted that the aged fan coil units causing the problems in Maple are bad through the entire complex and need to be replaced.


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