Summer is usually prime time to kick off university construction projects, but this summer there won’t be as many cranes and cement trucks on campus.
“We’ll probably have the slowest summer we’ve ever had,” said Danny Sniff, associate vice president of facilities planning. “Where we have in the past torn up different parts of campus, we’re in kind of a hiatus. We’ve had a lot of buildings that have come online in the last four to five months, and we’re waiting for the budget to see if we can move forward with anything else.”
In recent months UGA has seen the reopenings of the Georgia Museum of Art, Stegeman Coliseum and the expansion of the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.
Energy Plant Number One, located at the corner of Baxter and Newton streets, is scheduled to be operational in May. The plant will supply heating and cooling to the Special Collections Libraries Building, now under construction, as well as to other buildings planned for the future.
The Special Collections Libraries Building is on schedule to open in January 2012, and library staff are working to get ready for the move. The libraries will partially open the new building, which will include the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, and Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Study, in the fall to incrementally provide prearranged access to materials as they arrive at the new building.
Construction will begin on the new Health Sciences Campus this summer. The campus’ rooms will be refigured for its new purpose and equipped with heating and air-conditioning. Sniff said the most noticeable difference will be that the former navy school’s hedges will be taken out, sustainable shade trees will be put in and the landscape should be more open.
The School of Law will have an interior renovation. The ground floor will be renovated to accommodate more students and the adjacent courtyard will be redesigned. An open stair will be constructed to connect new student gathering space on all three floors. The project should be complete by the time the academic year begins in August.
International Education will be finishing renovations to be ready for its new home on Lumpkin Street by the end of June.
Athletics will begin a renovation phase of Butts-Mehre. The third floor of the building will be closed until June 5, with the museum closed until November. In the interim, the ticket office will be located in Stegeman Coliseum.
In housing, Payne Hall will receive a heating and air conditioning upgrade. Mary Lyndon Hall will be renovated with an elevator to be more handicap accessible.
A few roads around campus also will be impacted by construction.
A sewer line will be installed on River Road. The area between the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity House at 170 River Road and the driveway to Performance Hall will be closed May 16-Aug. 12 to allow for construction.
From May to July, Athens-Clarke County will be upgrading the intersections of Cloverhurst Avenue, Finley Street and University Court, near the residence halls, specifically Russell Hall. The project is intended to address drainage and traffic control problems, crosswalk alignment and disability access.
Utility work will take place between Snelling Dining Commons and the Georgia Center from mid-May to July.