Summer Construction Zone
While warmer weather makes the summer campus bloom with foliage and flowers, so too are construction projects in bloom around to make a safer campus.
“We’ve got a lot of projects we’re working on this summer,” says Brian Johnson, assistant vice president of facilities. “Our focus is really improving safety across campus.”
Among the safety improvements around campus is repair work to the concrete stairway in front of Brink Hall. Johnson says half of the stairway has been closed due to deterioration and it was a safety concern.
“They’re older stairs and it’s time to replace them; again, it’s an issue of safety,” says Johnson.
The concrete stairs leading to the Hello Walk off Blake Avenue will also be replaced due to deterioration. Beyond safety concerns, Johnson says the stair will also be modeled after old campus photos to look like the original stairway and create a more open and friendly entrance. Both stair projects are state funded.
“We wanted to give it a more open feel and go back as close as we can to the original intent,” says Johnson.
Another safety project will brighten up Perimeter Drive from Sixth Street to Highway 8 with new street and pedestrian lighting. The project also includes placing a sidewalk on the field side of the road for pedestrian safety. Bids will go out soon, with a completion date in the fall. The project is state funded.
Two elevator projects are in the works. The Wallace Complex will see a new elevator installed for those wishing to access the core of the complex more directly without using the freight elevator. The new elevator will be installed in the front of the building. The state-funded project will start this summer and run into spring of 2012.
“These will definitely help with access and safety,” says Johnson.
The Theophilis Tower housing complex will see code and safety improvements and repairs to its elevators. The project is funded by Auxiliary Services. Ongoing work also will improve the pedestrian walkway connecting the Tower and Bob’s Place, inside Wallace. A new concrete walkway will make this a more formal and safe path for students to travel. University Housing and Facilities Services are funding the project, which is expected to be done in July.
The Buchanan Engineering Lab is currently undergoing state-funded safety improvements also. Another ongoing project is window replacement at Phinney and Brink halls, also state funded.
Roof replacement also will happen later this summer and fall at the College of Natural Resources, thanks to state funding. The Gauss Johnson Building and Gibb Hall are will see roof repairs that should be done in the next month, also made possible through state funding.
Some new additions will be seen on campus this fall. The University Bookstore will install a Starbucks Coffee Shop in the main location on Deakin Avenue, with an opening date in early fall. This project is funded through Auxiliary Services.
The Janssen Engineering Building will see some remodeling to create a new student service center will be established. The remodel effort begins this summer and likely will carry into the fall. The project is privately funded. The project also includes cooling improvements, funded by University Facilities.
The first phase of a new campus signage project is underway this summer, focused mainly on vehicular wayfinding. Johnson says future phases of the project will depend on availability of funding from within the University.
The Kibbie Dome project is steaming along for the summer and, adjacent to it, the track and field complex work is going smoothly. The track is being removed and a new drainage system is being put in. The site has traditionally been a wet area, Johnson says, and the new track will be drier, nicer and safer. The hillside seating has been removed and will be replaced with stand-alone bleachers. The complex work should be completed in late fall using central University funds.
Work has wrapped up on new sewer lines that serve the Lionel Hampton School of Music. That project included street closures on Blake Avenue. Johnson says only one other project this summer will cause a prolonged road closure.
Bids were recently opened for the state-funded Rayburn Street project to lengthen the chilled water cooling system reach across campus. Work will be conducted along Rayburn Street from the Shattuck Arboretum to Sixth Street. Johnson says this project will require some road closures, but specific dates won’t be known until the construction timeline is mapped out with the contractor. He expects work to begin in July with a finish in November.