The End Is Near

Everything should be back to normal around campus by fall 2007, according to director of capital planning and management Bob Vaughan.Almost completely finished projects – such as the Harris Millis dining hall and the U-Heights dormitory – are still undergoing some finishing touches, including landscaping and general cleaning of construction sites and will be finalized this spring, Vaughan said.The future of the formerly infamous UVM tunnel, which crosses beneath Main Street, has been the buzz around campus. Vaughan explained that the tunnel will be refurbished and lead directly into the lower level of the Davis Center.In order to create easy access to the Davis Center for students living on Redstone pathway will lead into a structure called the South Lobby, Vaughan said. Students may have noticed this structure, which is currently being constructed on the southern side of Main Street, opposite the Davis Center.Upon entering the heated South Lobby, students can access the tunnel to cross under Main Street and into the Davis Center.The new sustainable tunnel is being fitted out with glass paneling, air conditioning and heating options, and will “remind people of walking through an airport,” Vaughan explained.The tunnel will lead into the lowest level of the Davis Center, which will house student services, a Catcard office, a bank, a convenience store, a computer depot, a recreation area, Brennan’s Pub and Bistro, and possibly a subsidiary of the Health and Wellbeing Center, Vaughan said.The Davis Center will have a “phased opening,” with a two level bookstore being the first to move in this May, according to Vaughan. This summer, student offices and student life will be moving in, and the “great movement” will occur throughout June, July and August, Vaughan said.”The goal is to have it open and up and running when students move back in next fall [2007],” Vaughan said.If you have been wondering what the box-like structure being built on the green between Lafayette, Cook Commons, and Angell is, Vaughan has an explanation. The box is being built to enclose cooling towers. The towers will run chilled water to buildings such as the Davis Center, Bailey Howe and possibly Given Medical Center, thereby providing air conditioning.The box will be completed in a couple of weeks, and construction of the towers is well underway, according to Vaughan.Though all the construction on Central Campus green has led to a redirecting of the bus routes and student traffic, Vaughan said the area will be cleared of machinery by the end of the semester. New steam lines and cooling water lines are being placed underground, which has led to a mass of trucks, fences and materials covering CBW green.No schedule or design has been made for the renovation of Billings into a center for Holocaust Studies, though Vaughan confirms that they “do have a concept.”