By Greg Hince
Aug. 13, 2012. Construction began last week on the stone plaza on the right-hand side of Appalachian State’s new George G. Beasley Broadcasting Complex, which will feature stones salvaged from the old building that sat in the same spot. Precision Stone Work, based out of Boone, will spend the next month working on the L-shaped façade. They are currently transporting in the reused stones from a storage location in Sugar Grove.
The stones are being stored across the street from the outside wall, in a parking lot on the corner of Depot and Howard Streets.
“It’s been kind of a pain in the ass having to spend time driving machines and stones across the street while dodging traffic,” Jeff Greene, Owner and Operator of Precision Stone work said. “It’s been a little bit of a hassle so far.”
Greene said he believes the project, still in its infancy, is on schedule and should be completed in the 30-day time frame. Logistical, design and budget challenges have made construction difficult from the start and led to multiple delays.
“We hired a guy named Rick Coffey to clean and move the stones,” Greene said. “We got most of the old stones back, but not quite all, so we are mixing them with local stone from Cove Creek and old brick.”
Greene is supervising a team of roughly six workers working on the project. Each member could be seen placing stone separate pillars of the building. Greene said that a week in he has been pleasantly suprised with his team’s work ethic.
Once the stones have been placed, James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction Co. of Jefferson, needs to add finishing touches to the building and the wall, leaving it’s windows open to offer an atrium type area with plants and benches for people to sit and look out at the street.
Though the area should be done in Sept. it likely won’t be open to the public until the building is completed. The courtyard walls are designed to reflect the architectural style of the old Boone bus depot, the building’s original tenant when it was built in 1954.
The complex is still on track to be completed early next year, with plans to hold classes starting spring semester barring unforeseen complications. Once it is completed the lane on Rivers St. in front on the building should be re-opened.
The new complex will feature broadcast studios, classrooms and labs for students and offices for faculty members in the Department of Communication’s electronic media broadcasting program. The 18,000 three-story square-foot building was LEED-designed. The project cost approximately $4.5 million, which was raised through a combination of private donations and state funds.
“This new complex means a lot to the university, and the building has been there forever, so we tried to save all we could,” Greg Lovins, Chief Financial Officer at Appalachian said in a June interview.
For more information on the building, its history, and the details of the construction project, as well as quotes from school and town planners please read a High Country Press article from June: http://www.hcpress.com/news/27981.html
Update: The High Country Press originally identified Precision Stonework as being based out of Granite Falls, when it is in fact based out of Boone. We apologize for the mistake.