Editor's note: With the opening of the New Anderson Student Center on UST's St. Paul Campus next Tuesday we thought this post by Kate Metzger from The Bulletin provided an interesting insight in to the local construction economy.
During recessionary times, one of the industries that feels the heaviest impact is construction. But thanks to the $60 million gift from Lee and Penny Anderson to the University of St. Thomas Opening Doors Campaign, a multi-year, multi-building project has helped bolster the local economy by getting many construction workers back to work.
The completion of the Anderson Student Center caps the three-building project that has helped alleviate the negative impacts of the recent recession. During a time when few construction cranes towered over St. Paul, St. Thomas had undergone one of the largest building projects in its history.
According to numbers provided by Opus Design Build, LLC, the builder of the projects, the $66 million Anderson Student Center generated 35,800 worker days–an average 1,800 worker days per month over the course of its 20-month construction. That’s the equivalent of 90 full-time jobs.
Similarly, the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex, which was a $52 million project, generated 24,300 worker days–an average of 1,500 worker days per month over the course of its 16 month construction. That’s the equivalent of 75 full-time jobs for construction workers from Opus and its subcontractors.
In addition, Opus employed two full-time project managers, two architects and six subcontractor project management personnel. Its part-time staff dedicated to the projects included an accountant, an administrative assistant and additional architectural and project management personnel.
Overall, the equivalent of up to 100 full-time jobs was provided for the duration of the two projects during a time when many similar companies were feeling the strain of a weak economy.
“We are fortunate to have been able to proceed with our plans to construct these facilities for our campus despite the economic climate,” said Mark Vangsgard, St. Thomas vice president of business affairs and chief financial officer. “It’s a win-win situation for the construction workers who were able to stay on the job and for the St. Thomas community.”
Be sure to visit the Anderson Student Center during its soft opening on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
For an interactive map of the new Anderson Student Center’s floor plans, visit the Opening Doors Campaign.