In case anyone was wondering what is happening with all the construction fences around campus, there is news: the fences are soon to be removed, as construction crews approach the end of three renovation projects.
Construction Services Senior Manager Mark Zakhour said the various projects underway – which can be seen on Beach Drive, State University Drive and parking lots 1 and 5 – will wrap up between spring and summer.
When asked about the renovations, Zakhour gave a complete breakdown of what is going on at each site.
The construction site on Beach Drive near the Student Health Services is the campus heating hot water piping replacement project, he said.
“We are replacing one of three hot water piping loops that is serviced from the campus central plant to various buildings,” Zakhour said.
The piping replacement in the West Loop is also connected to the nursing department, which is why a section of the general parking spaces in Lot 1 are currently blocked off.
Although the West Loop renovations are scheduled to be finished in March, nearly a year after their commencement, the project may be delayed because of changing weather conditions.
Aside from Beach Drive, the fences visible on State University Drive will also be cleared off during the spring semester, as the renovations are scheduled to be done within the next two months.
The fenced off area near the Social Science and Public Affairs department is a part of the natural gas line replacement project, which was confirmed by Zakhour to be the “first phase of a campus-wide project replacing the aging natural gas piping systems.”
Although the majority of the renovations are aiming to replace aging piping systems, the affected area in Lot 5 is actually a staging area for the renovation underway in the fourth floor of the Psychology building.
Zakhour said the staging area holds the “materials serving the Psychology fourth floor brain laboratory renovation, which will create three new research labs for the department.”
The addition of the research labs for the psychology department has generated buzz around campus, as students like Natalie Sanchez expressed approval for the renovation projects underway.
Sanchez, who is currently a freshman said, “I think it’s good [because] it will give psychology majors more opportunities to conduct experiments.”
The psychology building renovations will be the last of the three projects to be finished, as contractors expect the project to run from now through early summer.