Construction crews will commence multiple projects this spring that will affect pedestrian flow through the center of campus. As part of the construction of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons (CULC), Skiles Walkway will be reconstructed to be wider and to provide a gradual incline to the Student Center from the Price Gilbert Memorial Library.
In addition to the CULC project, several smaller projects are also scheduled simultaneously, transforming that part of campus. Starting in late Dec., the parking lot between the Skiles Building and the Student Center will be closed off for the construction of a new transit hub, allowing the Tech Trolley and Stinger buses to extend their routes on Ferst Drive and provide access to the CULC and Library. The Kessler Campanile will be renovated starting this Dec. and will be connected to an underground cistern located beneath Tech Green. In order to accommodate for the construction of the cistern, the walkway leading from the Student Center to Atlantic Drive will be closed off.
These construction projects will likely have a significant impact on the flow of pedestrian traffic through the area. John DuConge, the project manager of the CULC, listed a number of detours that will be made available during the construction at a town hall meeting held on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Skiles Allee, the pathway behind the Skiles Building will serve as the primary connection between the Skiles Building and the Student Center.
The construction of the CULC began in fall of 2009, and construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer of 2011. The project is currently in the principal construction phase, which means that the interior walls of structure are being built.
The redesigned Skiles Walkway will have expanded areas for seating and student interaction, as well as access to a Starbucks located in the CULC.
Preparations have also been made for the removal of the Library fountain at the end of the semester. The existing underground steam lines on Bobby Dodd Way will be replaced as well starting this March.
A new transit hub will also be located along the Walkway. The goal of the transit hub is to provide easy access to the Library, the Student Center and the CULC. Construction for the hub will begin in Dec. following finals week and is scheduled to be completed by July 2011.
“Our goal is to open the new transit center in conjunction with the opening of the new CULC as our main objective for the new transit center is to provide much needed transit access to the heart of central campus,” said Aaron Fowler, the alternative transportation coordinator.
The parking lot that is currently located in that space will be remodeled as a pay lot that will accommodate 18 spaces. The Tech Trolley and Stinger Buses will extend their route to the new transit center. The facility will become the new turnaround point for the Trolley.
In addition to the Transit Hub, the CULC will have a plaza along Fourth Street that will accommodate Stingerette Shuttle service pick-ups and drop-offs.
The fountain at the Kessler Campanile will undergo construction to connect to the cistern under Tech Green. Work on the Campanile will occur from mid-Dec. until March 2011. This cistern will be the master storm water management detention structure and serve plumbing functions in the CULC and Van Leer.
Following the end of construction in the summer of 2011, the building will be turned over to Facilities to furnish the building and put audiovisual equipment in place. The CULC will be opened to students in Aug. 2011.
Upon completion, the CULC is expected to receive LEED Gold Certification, which is one of the highest sustainability ratings a building can attain.
[below is a map outlining the projects next semester. click for an enlarged version.]