Erik van de Boogaard honored with Billy Adams Award


You won't see his name chiseled in stone anywhere, but Erik van de Boogaard was instrumental in creating or enhancing most buildings on the Adams State University campus. Recently retired as Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning, Design & Construction, he directed $142 million worth of campus improvements. He estimates he directed renovation of well over half of campus and construction of an additional 180,000 square feet.

"No one person has had more impact on the physical campus that is now Adams State University than Erik," noted Adams State President David Svaldi. "As one community member told me, 'Adams looks like a real university now.' Erik's leadership over the last two decades provided consistency and a unifying plan for ASU's campus."

In recognition of van de Boogaard's contributions to the university, he will receive the prestigious Billy Adams Award at the Homecoming Alumni Banquet, Friday, Oct. 11, at 5:30 p.m. in the Adams State Student Union Building. Dinner tickets are $25 per person and may be reserved by calling 719-587-7609.

Adams State University's Residences at Rex and Rex Stadium on the North Campus Green is the jewel in the crown of recent campus renewal headed by Erik van de Boogaard.

Van de Boogaard joined Adams State in 1994 to oversee renovation of food services, the then-College Center, housing, and the Rex Activity Center. He then tackled the first new construction in 25 years, a science and mathematics facility now known as Porter Hall. This was followed by construction of the new Theatre and renovations of the School of Business and the former science building for the Art Department. A number of controlled maintenance and infrastructure projects were also undertaken, including decommissioning the steam plant and installing new heating systems in all buildings, as well as renovating the Computing Services Center.

Van de Boogaard left Adams State for a similar position at Mesa State College in 2002, but returned in 2008, just in time to break ground on the Plachy Hall renovation.

"I like to be busy and was very excited to take the institution's dreams & visions and make them happen, to create a new Campus Master Plan," he said.

Momentum accelerated when students passed a fee to fund campus transformation. The jewel in the crown of that project was the North Campus Green and the first new student housing built in 45 years, the Residences at Rex apartment and stadium facility. Then came renovations to student housing, Leon Memorial Concert Hall, the Music Building, and the ES Building - now McDaniel Hall - plus expanded campus parking, new playing fields, and sustainable energy projects. Most recently, the third floor of Porter Hall was completed and Zachies Planetarium renovated, and the former Evans School building on the East Campus was renovated to house the Department of Human Performance & Physical Education. Renovations continue in student housing, and work is nearly finished to upgrade the outdoor track and erect a High Altitude Training Center.

Van de Boogaard directed all this work and more, then launched the long-awaited renovation of Adams State's oldest building, Richardson Hall. He said it is "bittersweet" that he won't be on hand for the project, "but I feel really good about the design/build team we selected to do the job. The campus is in good hands."

The man behind the bricks & mortar

Long before any construction crews were deployed, van de Boogaard developed a Campus Master Plan, worked with staff to obtain official approvals and construction funding, and adhered to a raft of state regulations and procedures. Each project required a detailed program plan, budget, and concept; design teams were selected, followed by a series of consultations, reviews, and meetings before final construction documents were prepared for bidding. Construction documents include a number of sub plans devoted to everything from asbestos abatement and demolition to landscaping and human waste plans. Every element imaginable was specified and went through multiple revisions, all reviewed by building stakeholders and facilities personnel. Once a construction bid was awarded, Van de Boogaard remained immersed until project completion.

He said he was "speechless for the first time in my life" upon being selected for the Billy Adams Award. "It is the most phenomenal thing for me to receive this recognition. I am truly honored. I have invested over 15 years in Adams State, my blood, sweat and tears. . . but none of these things could have taken place without a lot of people, the vision of Adams State presidents, and support from the entire campus community."

Van de Boogaard and his family have relocated to Brooksville, Fla., where he is second in command of maintenance for the Hernando County School District, which serves 23,000 students on 24 different campuses.

By Julie Waechter