Campus construction for long-term benefit of community

As we return from break this semester refreshed and ready for the new challenges and opportunities ahead of us in 2011, there is one challenge I know all of us would prefer to do without.
No doubt all of you have seen the dramatic increase in construction within the center of the campus. Most of you will, if you haven’t already, experience the inconvenience of navigating around safety gates and fencing, and taking alternate routes as you traverse through the heart of campus. While I know that detours are inconvenient for all of us, we are asking for your patience as we push Tech into its next phase of renewal and renovation.
Historically, Tech, like any other world-class research institution, has had to endure the pains of construction during growth. Whether it has been construction before the 1996 Olympics or the creation of Tech Square, Tech has endured the sometimes-painful challenges of construction in order to reap the rewards of new facilities and venues for the campus community’s long-term benefit.
Although students, faculty and staff will be the beneficiaries of the current construction, we will all have to be a little more patient the next few months as we make sacrifices that others have made before.
Several projects that are part of our sustainable design initiative, as well as the completion of the Clough Commons, will alter routes through the center of campus.
Tech Green will still be closed along with projects to renovate the Campanile, redesign Skiles Walkway and create a new Transit Hub. Most of these projects are targeted for completion by the fall.
Due to some events beyond our control, the timing of these construction efforts happened simultaneously. We made the decision to continue with each project as planned to minimize the duration of the total construction and its impact on the campus.
In the meantime, it will be necessary to give yourself a little extra time as you make your way across campus. As a result of the extensive construction, pedestrian pathways are reconfigured to allow sufficient detours through the center of campus. As construction progresses through its various phases, there will from time to time be a need to move the construction safety fences, and that too will result in modifications to these alternative pathways. So the route you take today may not be the route you take in the weeks to come.
One of the main arteries through campus, of course, is Skiles Walkway, the corridor that provides the most direct access between the Library and the Student Center. Because of this, crews have created an alternate path on the opposite side of the Skiles Building, which will tie in with existing sidewalks to provide pedestrian access across campus.
Our Facilities office understands the challenges that accompany this type of construction and is working diligently to make sure that routes are properly lighted and made as user-friendly as possible.
Val and I frequently walk the campus, and we understand the frustrations caused by so much construction in the center of our campus. However, we also know overcoming these challenges for the next few months brings the promise of a better campus for all of us to enjoy. Our patience will pay off.
Thank you all for your understanding and cooperation, and welcome back!


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