Published on May 7, 2018  

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful day. As we all turn our attention to finals, commencements, and the end of semester ceremonies and activities I wanted to take a minute to update you on the renovation of the University Center and other projects that will commence on May 14.

On Tuesday the Board of Trustees approved an expanded scope of renovation of the University Center. The space now occupied by Student Affairs will become a beautiful new student gathering space, the bookstore will have a new entrance from Ben Brown Plaza and glass walls creating enhanced merchandising. The food court will expand with a full service Chick-fil-a and other new food options. Harry’s will be renovated and Washington Courtyard will become an extension with easy access from Harry’s. The renovation also calls for more seating, event space on the 1st floor, and upgraded restrooms. Upstairs we will achieve what is envisioned in the Campus Master Plan by creating a new destination space for students, a student commons space for gathering and studying. There will also be a new sky-lit stairwell offering easy transition between the Caf and Food Court. Other components include a renovation of the University Center Annex to accommodate Student Affairs and Student Life Functions as well as a pedestrian plaza in Talbird Circle.

The required infrastructure work and expansion of the kitchen will require the entire building and UC Annex to be closed from May 14 through July 9. On July 10 we will reopen the Caf with access from the Ben Brown Plaza side only. The remaining renovations will continue through Jan term. The temporary Caf will be located in Seibert beginning June 1. We will close Dawson Drive on May 25 to through traffic. We will create a pedestrian center with tables/chairs, bookstore merchandise, ADA bathrooms, and mobile kitchens on the street. As previously mentioned the Bookstore will be located in the Dwight and Lucille Beeson Center (Former Healing Arts) 1st floor and the Post Office will be located in Brooks, 2nd floor. We will announcing opening days for these a little later. Student Affairs, Disability Resources, Career Development Center, Geography and JMC will be temporarily located in Sullivan-Cooney during the summer.

The construction staging will close Talbird Circle, the small parking lot directly behind the UC, and the stairs between DBH and UC. ADA access will be maintained for DBH and Ben Brown Plaza will be accessible. The staging will begin on the 14th. Trucks will enter via Riley Road, Talbird Circle, and in the evenings along the sidewalk by Brooks and out by Pittman. We will use flagmen and appreciate everyone’s patience with the flow of construction traffic.

This will be the first major renovation of the building in more than 40 years, and though it will require us all to be inconvenienced during the renovation, the results will be worth it!

In addition, we have many other campus master plan projects going on this summer. Here is a highlight:

  • Major renovations of Burns, Chapman, Russell and Ingalls halls to create new homes for many of the departments of Howard College of Arts and Sciences will conclude early July.
  • Refurbishment of Reid Chapel and reconfigured Spiritual Life offices will conclude early July.
  • Transformation of Ingalls Hall into space for the Office of Admissions and Financial Services, as well as the Howard College of Arts and Sciences will conclude mid-August.
  • Renovations are now underway on the Daniel House in London, with its reopening expected in Jan term 2019.
  • Completion of Rotunda Club renovations.
  • Residence Hall enhancements including upgrade of 40 bathrooms, renovation of 3 common bathrooms in Vail, new flooring in Vail east, paint and general maintenance in all rooms, plumbing in West Village, structural and mechanical improvements in Beeson Woods, removal of popcorn ceilings in some halls, access controls in Beeson Woods, etc.
  • An expansion of the Bashinsky Academic Success Center
  • A new Analytics Lab in Brock School of Business
  • Minor upgrades to the Art Gallery
  • 35 or so other minor renovation projects such as, completion of building system controls, road paving, Brock Recital Hall flooring, landscaping along Lakeshore Drive, and many other exciting enhancements.

I will continue to provide updates to you as these projects commence. On behalf of the Operations and Planning team I write to ask for your understanding, patience, and prayers as we embark on our busiest time of year.