Covid-19 affects campus construction

The sound of drills, hammers and other construction equipment has silenced at MCCC.

Jack Burns, director of Campus Planning and Facilities, said construction was occurring March 23 — just prior to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order.

Construction workers work on Founder’s Hall, formerly East and West Tech, Oct. 2019.

Since then all construction projects are placed on hold.

“Founders Hall (formerly East and West Tech) is nearly complete, however due to all construction ceasing we went from being on target for completion to falling behind schedule,” Burns said.

Burns said besides delays it is hard to say if COVID-19 is affecting any of the current projects. 

“Obviously it is frustrating for our constructors not being able to work because like the rest of us they have deadlines to meet that are contractual,” Burns said.

The longer workers are delayed on current projects translates into future contracts being pushed back which means loss of income for companies potentially Burns said. 

After stay-home orders and lock downs are lifted, Burns said companies will either be very competitive with each other and lower prices for jobs, or the costs will be inflated to make up for losses.

This statewide mandate means the following construction projects on campus are currently on hold: renovations on Founders Hall, the implementing of campus-wide emergency generators, further construction of unisex restrooms and the renovations of IT rooms across campus.

Other projects that are planned for this spring/summer that might be delayed because of COVID-19 are as follows: the L Building domestic cold water pipe lining project, the repairs to Parking Lots 4-6, sidewalk repairs, the Whitman Center roof restoration and entry tower painting project, the new salt barn and Grounds Building and the Diversity and Equity Center Project.

“We will resume construction projects on campus in keeping with the Governor’s directives. Once we can resume construction, we will update the construction schedule accordingly,” Suzanne Wetzel, vice president of Administration and Treasurer said.