New University Union delayed, construction to continue

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    While the completion of the Brown-Lupton University Union is delayed, Clark and Jarvis halls are on schedule and there are new projects in the works, an administrator said.

     

    Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, said the Brown-Lupton University Union project is behind schedule from its scheduled completion date of Aug. 1.

     

     

    "We're a little bit behind because of weather," Mills said. "But we should be all set for the second week in August."

     

     

    Brian Gutierrez, vice chancellor for finance and administration, said the original budget for the construction was $110 million. That budget includes money for the University Union, Frog Fountain, Scharbauer Hall, renovations of Clark and Jarvis dormitories and the new on-campus residence halls.

     

     

    Gutierrez said in an e-mail that there have been some "minor deviations" from that original figure, but for the most part the construction is on target. He declined to be more specific.

     

     

    Mills said Clark is being renovated into a coed residence hall for freshmen and Jarvis will hold offices and classrooms.

     

     

    Mills said $20 million of the $90 million for the Campus Commons Project came from private donors and money for the rest of the construction is coming from the university's operating budget.

     

     

    He said administrators met to decide what financial route to take with the construction and put together a plan with the University Advancement office to achieve their fundraising goals.

     

     

    Harold Leeman, associate director for major projects, said the construction is going well but there is still a lot more work to do.

     

     

    "Right now, Jarvis and Clark are on track to be finished Aug. 1," Leeman said. "The end-zone project is delayed because of the collapse, but it should also be completed Aug. 1."

     

     

    Future projects include, renovations in Moudy Building South, construction of Scharbauer Hall in place of the Brown-Lupton Student Center and a gym at the Starpoint School, an on-campus laboratory school for learning-disabled children.

     

     

    Leeman said the next step is to begin demolition on the current Brown-Lupton Student Center.

     

     

    "The demolition will start sometime right after school around May 15," Leeman said. "The plans are to have all the demo done before school starts in the fall."

     

     

    Leeman said there are also a couple more plans for the current wave of construction.

     

     

    The university is interviewing architects to develop plans for some renovations in Moudy South, Leeman said.

     

     

    "We're hoping to develop it into a convergence (media) lab type of arrangement," Leeman said.

     

     

    Those renovations will take place primarily on the second floor, which houses he Schieffer School of Journalism, he said.

     

     

    Leeman said the most important thing to him was trying to minimize the hassles that construction can cause.

     

     

    "Hopefully, we've kept a lot of construction traffic out of the middle of campus," he said.

     

     

    Jenighi Powell, a junior international relations major, said she thinks the construction is coming along great but it can be frustrating at times.

     

     

    "I do have to say, living in Samuelson, that the construction gets really loud in the morning," Powell said.

     

     

    For students who are wondering when all the construction will be finished, Leeman said, it could be a long time.

     

     

    "There will always be something to do," he said. "I think the football stadium might have a major face-lift soon."