First stages of construction to begin

Starting Wednesday, it might become a little harder to get to classes.

The preparation for the numerous upcoming construction projects, will be allowed to begin April 1, said Robert Vaughan, director of capital planning and management. This means equipment, fencing and general preparation for the summer construction projects can begin, he said.

“So fencing, shuttle buses, pedestrian pathways and construction vehicles are pretty much going to be prevalent for the next four years in this area,” Vaughan said. Some of the main sidewalks used to get to other parts of Central campus will be blocked off as a result, such as the walkways on both sides of the Bailey/Howe Library, Vaughan said.

“Walking is going to be the worst part, I try to take the bus but often I miss the bus,” first-year Sarah Martin said. “So I guess walking the longer route is just going to make my day a little tougher.”

In response to these detours that will be in place over the next four years, the registrar’s office extended the passing period between classes for fall from 15 to 20 minutes, the Cynic reported March 24. “That will make it a lot easier I think, but the worst part is still walking,” Martin said.

The construction managers from the three projects — STEM, medical center and housing — met to try to resolve some of the speculated pedestrian problems, Vaughan said. “How am I getting students, faculty and staff through this little pinch point? Because it really is the juncture of all three projects,” he said.

The challenge right now is coordinating the three projects to allow the easiest routes for student transportation, Vaughan said.

“I think it’s more of a big deal for everyone as a whole since I think there will be more foot traffic in certain areas,” sophomore Willow Hunt said. “I don’t think it’s going to be very nice when it is going on.” Central campus is definitely going to look different by 2020. 

“The change is good, but people will have to go through inconveniences to get there, but in the end it will probably be worth it,” Martin said.