CULC construction plans, designs revealed

Construction on the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center (CULC) has begun in earnest. The design process has been ongoing for years, and finishing touches will continue through the Spring of 2010. Current estimates have major construction taking 18 months. The opening is scheduled for Fall 2011.

“What we’re trying to do now is to wrap up the design, actually all the big decisions have been made,” said John Ducogne, project manager. “We’re getting ready to enter the next phase which is construction documents which is the more technical side of the design process … to prepare some documents that the contractor can use to build from.”

Features students can expect out of the CULC are classrooms, labs for freshmen and sophomore science courses, study lounges, tutoring zones, OIT support and a café.

Concurrent with construction with the CULC will be renovations of Skiles Walkway. The plan is to reduce the grade of the walkway by spreading the rise over a distance three times greater than the current length of the staircase. The walkway will remain open until the end of Fall 2010.

“Until we get to the point where we work on [Skiles], it will remain open as is. So starting next December are plans to construct a half of a new walkway and over the other half we will provide a temporary walkway for pedestrians and once we finish construction we will flip flop and reverse it,” Duconge said.

Construction will also affect areas outside of Skiles. The CULC will connect with the library west commons, and renovation of the Hinman building is scheduled to begin early next year.

Although there will be noise from construction, it is not expected to be a major disturbance and noise levels should not see a precipitous increase from current levels.

As routes around campus are closed, attempts will be made to inform students prior to their closures. “We will try to get the information distributed through email and through the Technique,” Duconge said.