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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
Mark Geahan, carpenter II, installs glass at the MSU Police Department.

Mark Geahan, carpenter II, installs glass at the MSU Police Department.

Resourceful renovations focus on space economy, green efforts


Feb. 29, 2012

Several offices in the Physical Plant* building are on the cutting edge of environmental building practices and space economy. Instead of using traditional wood and plaster walls, these offices are built completely of recyclable and reusable materials.

The demountable partition system used to create the spaces is made of materials such as aluminum, vinyl-coated drywall panels and glass. These materials can be combined to design a modern, stylish workspace. Individual offices can be equipped with either sliding or swinging doors.

Monte Pride, estimating planner/inspector/analyst III/S, explained that this system is better at meeting the standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is a suite of rating systems developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that rank the construction and operation of buildings for environmental health, energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality. Stick-built and plastered walls do not have the same LEED rating for sustainability and recyclability.

The Engineering and Architectural Services offices and the Maintenance planner/inspector/analyst offices at the Physical Plant were deliberately renovated in this way as pilot examples for the rest of campus to follow. When Chief Jim Dunlap and Assistant Chief Mike Rice of the MSU Police Department saw the setup, they decided to upgrade their building as well.

According to Dean Geisenhaver, structural planner/inspector/analyst II, who coordinated with the customers and ordered materials, Dunlap liked the openness and the opportunity for more room. The hallway was wide enough so that with some wise planning on the part of Pride and others, the square-footage of offices for the chiefs and deputy chiefs could be increased.

Other renovations were already underway at the police department at the time such as changes to the men’s and women’s locker rooms. One of the ongoing projects was to redo the ceilings and lighting in the hallways. It was the perfect opportunity.

Geisenhaver explained, “LEED standards say it’s preferable to have more light and to share the light from the windows in the hallway.” So, as part of the renovations, the hallway will have three 3-foot skylights.

Many sectors of the Physical Plant, such as the Alterations and Improvements crew and Engineering and Architectural Services, and the Set-Up crew, cooperated to make the project happen. To meet the furniture schedule, the structural shop worked all day on a Saturday to finish the carpeting. Even while bouncing back and forth between the police station and another project, the crew made sure to finish the project by the deadline.

Assistant Chief Rice was pleased with the renovation process. “The Physical Plant employees interacted very well with our employees. It’s a busy place around here 24/7, but they were great at working around us. Since the renovations I’ve heard all positive reviews.”

Bruce Van Aken, Alterations and Improvements skilled trades supervisor, was happy that Physical Plant employees constructed a space that is both on the forefront of environmental standards with aesthetic appeal. “It’s something we can do ourselves and don’t have to bring in outside contractors to do. We have a lot of talented people who work here.”

January/February 2012

*Prior to the creation of Infrastructure Planning and Facilities in January 2013, several IPF departments were a part of the now-dissolved MSU Physical Plant. Some historical articles on this website reference that former unit.

Employees involved in MSU Police Department renovations:

Matt Althouse
maintenance assistant II

Brian Arens
carpenter II

Phil Bonney
plumber II

Junior Brown
roofer II

Mike Bulock
mechanic electronics I

Reggie Bush
metal worker mechanic I

Gordon Clark
trades helper II

Martin Covell
roofer II

Pat Curry
plumbing planner/inspector/analyst II

Kevin Dobbin
laborer I

Larry Ezzo
metal worker mechanic II

Roy Feldpausch
carpenter II

Mark Geahan
carpenter II

Dean Geisenhaver
structural planner/inspector/analyst II

George Goerge
metal worker mechanic II

Ed Gonzalez
set-up worker II

Santos Libunao
telecommunications mechanic II

Matt Maiville
labor assistant II

Darwin Meirndorf
HVAC mechanic II

Don Meyers
metal worker mechanic II

Scott Miller
maintenance assistant II

Don Mintz
planner/inspector/analyst II

Tony Moralez
welder II

Joe Murphy
laborer I

Doug Nurenberg
electrician II

Jim Pease
electronics mechanic I

John Pline
trades aide

Mike Ramirez
electrical planner/inspector/analyst II

Colt Richard
trades aide

Nick Rowe
carpenter II

Kay Steele
graphic artist II

Rick Taylor
set-up worker I

Rick Travis
roofer II

Rodney Trowbridge
set-up worker I

Bena Twichell
pipefitter II

John Vallie
telecommunications mechanic III

Ron Williams
roofer I

Rob Wummel
carpenter II