Construction redirects buses

Progress on the STEM complex on Central Campus forced a new route for the CAT shuttle buses. Both students and drivers say they have seen issues with the change

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Only a few months into a  four-year Central Campus makeover, the $104 million dollar STEM project renovation is slowly developing, bringing with it several changes to campus activity.

A new shuttle bus route now intersects Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 10.12.58 PMone of the busiest walkways on campus, causing problems for students and bus drivers, they say.

Instead of going around the back of the library, the bus must go along the front on a path.

A five minute loop has been added from Trinity Campus to WDW on Redstone, CAT bus driver Windee Young said.

This has caused some issues, she said.

“I’ve had students whack the side of my bus for fun or walk in front of it completely unaware,” Young said.

“It would be great if students could be more respectful and helpful by watching out for the bus in busy areas like in front of the library,” she said.

Central Campus is in the first of three phases of the STEM Project, which includes the  new dorm and dining hall addition, Director of Capital Planning and Management Bob Vaughan said.

“During the summer, Angell Hall was demolished, and in its footprint, we’ve started building a lab building called Discovery Hall,” Vaughan said.

“They’ve already started putting footing in and foundation walls, so that’s going to take until May 2017 to build,” he said.

The project will be completed May 2019, Vaughan said, but some of the construction will be in time for the class of 2021 to use it.

“The second phase is the creation of a building specifically for labs and classrooms and take down Cook Hall where these rooms currently are. This will hopefully be done in May of 2019,” Vaughan said.

The last phase will involve interior upgrades of Votey and a bridge connecting Votey to the new STEM building, Vaughan said.

Work on the foundation will begin in October and continue through the winter.

Construction will be done constantly to complete the buildings by Fall 2017, Vaughan said.

The bus route around the library was the only option that would not disrupt the buses, Vaughan said.

New patches of concrete have been added along the roads to give the buses more space,  Vaughan said.

Some students don’t seem to mind the changes in the bus route.

“Since I have the Transloc locator app for my phone, I can always tell where the buses are, so it hasn’t affected the way I get to and from campus,” Sophomore Valeska von Wickede said.

“I like being able to sit in front of the library now to wait for the bus rather than having to go around back,” Wickede said.

Though changes in the bus route have been an easy change for students, many are sick of the construction.

“It’s pretty annoying being in the library trying to study and having constant loud noises of all of the construction equipment,” sophomore Emily Friend said.

“As an economics major I won’t see any of the benefits of the STEM project, and I’ll graduate before the construction is fully finished,” Friend said.