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As summer projects wind down, focus is on the quad

By : Karen Fennie

Work on the Plaza Deck will continue through November, although the contractor expects to finish work around the main Library doors in September.
While many summer projects are wrapping up, work to add more green space and make additional improvements to the Peace Quad is scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 28.

The drive in front of Fine Arts and the University Union will be narrowed to create a pedestrian walk with pavers. About a dozen benches, a gift from the Class of 2006, will be installed. More than 20 maple, oak and pine trees will be added. Work should be substantially complete before Homecoming.

Improvements to the Peace Quad began last summer, when a new sidewalk was installed through the center of the Quad. Redundant walkways were returned to green space. Some new plantings were also a part of the first phase of the renovation.

From replacing the Plaza Deck to polishing the brass on door handles, another busy summer project season has meant changes and improvements across campus. Here are some highlights:

Motorists arriving for the fall semester will note an altered main campus entrance. Flowering pear trees were planted along center drive, culverts were repaired and the roadway was paved. Parking Lot M and some walkways around campus also have smoother surfaces due to paving projects. The ramp between the Engineering Building and the Library was repaired, along with the granite steps in front of the Academic Complex.

The Plaza Deck is taking on a new look as paving stones are laid in front of the Library. The contractor hopes to finish work around the Library entrance so the main Library doors can reopen in mid-September. Work on other areas of the Plaza Deck will continue into November. The project involves removal of old paving material, installation of waterproofing and drainage and new pavers as well as renovation of spaces under the Plaza Deck.

The Science Library first floor area has a new look. Stacks were removed and workstations were installed along with new carpeting and lighting. Skylights are being replaced above the area as well.

The Watson Dean’s office moved to the ground floor of the Library and some other functions in the Engineering Building were moved to the Library to free up space in Engineering for future renovations. The work included construction of two instructional computer classrooms, additional auxiliary support space for the Information Commons and relocation of the Technology Training Center to the Library.

Work to support research continued with projects to create lab space at the Innovative Technologies Complex. Work is nearly complete on new wet labs and dry labs on the second floor. Crews will then move to the first floor for construction of additional laboratory facilities.

Work to replace roofs on several buildings, including Fine Arts/Anderson Center, East Gym, West Gym and Science 1, will be completed in early fall. New skylights were installed in the Rockefeller Center.

A project to provide more energy efficient lighting and remove PCB ballasts in the Library began in the summer and will continue through the fall.

The music room in the Fine Arts Building and the Library Tower kitchenette were renovated. Heating and ventilation work to support new vendors in the University Union also took place. The Hinman co-rec field was renovated.

Several projects improved the overall appearance of campus. Crews washed windows in several buildings, entrance ways, including doors, were painted on more than 30 buildings and door hardware was polished.

For more information and photos of some of the work accomplished during the summer, visit
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Last Updated: 10/14/08