Those of us who work at the Library have front-row seats, so to speak, of the “Transformation of the Campus Landscape Initiative,” final phase. We’ve seen the decades-old campus drive and sidewalk removed, witnessed deep trenches dug for massive steam pipes maneuvered by a towering crane and observed the construction of a new platform and steps on Corr Hall’s west side with new walkways of brick pavers leading up to it. The words “Transformation of the Campus Landscape” seem inadequate for an operation of this magnitude.
I contacted the University’s Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Bob Morro, P.E., for an update on phase III. He responded, “Despite hot weather and lots of rain, the construction team is doing a great job maintaining the schedule, which has a final completion in late October. Utility work, including steam main replacement continues in front of Falvey [Memorial] Library. Meanwhile, across the grotto, the underground work is complete and brick pavers are starting to be installed on the main walkway from Austin, past the new grotto, toward Alumni Hall. Goal is to have this area complete for student move in, mid-August. Next week, work will start on the fountain in front of Alumni.”
You may recall that the underground work near the grotto Morro mentions involved replacing a steam pipe and installing “three large steam manholes at the west end of the new Grotto,” as explained in the “Overview of Phase III” video. That presentation also mentions “new underground storm water retention basin[s]” being installed between Sheehan and Bartley Halls and also at rear of the Connolly Center.
The planning of this project, the logistics of deciding when and how each component needs to occur and the coordination of the various contractors seem overwhelming. Morrow and his team deserve credit for handling it all, as well as the unplanned but not unexpected problems that arise with such an undertaking.
Gerald Dierkes is an information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copyeditor for the Communication and Publications team, and a liaison to the Department of Theater.