MU braces for summer season of construction

Tate, Switzler and Gillett halls are due to open in the fall as summer renovations continue.
Construction began on David R. Francis Quadrangle on May 16 to replace a broken pipe. This is one of several projects going on this summer to improve the campus.

Though construction is nothing new to the MU campus, new projects will be going on this summer in addition to the completion of several ongoing ones.

“A lot of construction gets done in the summer and, yes, there are a lot of visitors but there are less people on campus in general,” Campus Facilities spokeswoman Karlan Seville said.

Seville said a storm sewer pipe under Francis Quadrangle has failed and needs to be removed.

“It's actually crumbling and broken,” She said.

Seville said once the pipe is replaced, landscaping services would improve drainage on the south section of the Quad, creating a slight crown in the middle of the Quad so water drains better. Construction began May 16 and the whole project should be complete by Aug. 1.

Seville said when classes commence in the fall, no one will be able to tell the construction happened.

Because of the construction, Eighth Street circle drive will be closed beyond Parking Lot R-C1, and some of the sidewalk by the circle drive will be rerouted. Construction will take place along the entire length of the Quad on the east side, but the sidewalk will remain open.

“The pipe is 10 feet below the surface,” Seville said. “It’s going to be a huge trench.”

Ongoing projects include the renovation of Tate and Switzler halls, both of which will reopen in the fall.

“We’ve added classrooms and also added offices for faculty,” Seville said.

Seville said both buildings have been brought up to current code and the buildings are more efficient. Both buildings will now have central air.

“Essentially, the buildings have been gutted completely,” Seville said.

Gillett residence hall will also reopen in the fall.

“The building has been renovated top to bottom,” Housing Operations Associate Director Harriet Green-Sappington said.

Green-Sappington said changes included reduced capacity, additional study spaces, wheelchair accessible rooms on all floors and central air conditioning.

“We’re at the point of substantial completion,” she said.

Green-Sappington said the renovation of Gillett is part of an 18-year master plan that began with the opening of the Virginia Avenue Housing Area.

Another ongoing project is the new Patient Care Tower being built on the northeast side of University Hospital. The project was started in August 2009 and is projected to be completed by early 2013.

MU Health Care spokesman Jeff Hoelscher said the completion of the Patient Care Tower will meet four needs. The building will be a new home for the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and it will have expanded and updated surgical facilities. It will also house three new floors of private inpatient rooms and new educational facilities.

Hoelscher said the new cancer center will offer care in the latest facility with the most updated equipment.

“I think we’re all very excited about it,” Hoelscher said. “It’s going to be a state-of-the-art facility.”

Seville said because of the Patient Care Tower, utilities need to be upgraded, and one of the biggest projects this summer is relocating those utilities that run under the parking lot of the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital. She said the utilities are being relocated to underneath Monk Drive.

“We have to close Monk Drive, which affects anyone going to the hospital,” Seville said.

Monk Drive will be closed June 15 through Sept. 2.

“Short-term, (the construction) will frustrate people,” Seville said. “Long-term, it benefits the university and people will be happy with it."

Share: Facebook / Twitter / Google+

Article comments

0 comments

This item does not have any approved comments yet.

Post a comment

Please provide a full name for all comments. We don't post obscene, offensive or pure hate speech.