Emory Report

June 1, 1999

 Volume 51, No. 32

Emory begins 'capital' summer as 14 building projects break ground on, around campus

No fewer than 14 capital projects will get under way on or near the Emory campus this summer, and some of them will disrupt daily life in ways other than merely creating noise and dust.

Of course, as anyone who works on campus knows, several projects have already begun; Facilities Management waited until summer to do much of the work that will cause the most inconvenience. For example, work on utility infrastructure for the Whitehead Research Building--delayed until after commencment--has forced the closing of the lower plaza between the Dental School and Rollins Research buildings. This has limited access to the bridge crossing the railroad tracks, but pedestrians may still use the stairway from Michael Street.

"Whenever there's construction, there's going to be some inconvenience," said John Fields, director of Project Management. "However, during design of these projects we spend a good deal of effort to consider pedestrian and vehicle traffic routes, as well as the everyday business of our institution and to establish alternative routes. Sometimes these routes may be inconvenient and take a little longer to move through, but they are created to allow safe access and travel around the construction sites."

Some of the larger projects this summer include:

  • the Whitehead building, though Capital Program Manager Rex Kizzort said construction on the building proper will probably not begin until late summer or early fall.
  • the University Apartments parking deck and shuttle road. Capital Program Manager Hector Morales said the razing of some 20 buildings will begin in early July, and construction of the deck will immediately follow.
  • continuation of the Open Space project. This summer will see the pedestrian mall extend from the corner of Asbury Circle and Pierce Drive up Pierce between the Dobbs Center and Cox Hall. One side of Woodruff Circle will be converted for two-way traffic to allow access from Clifton Road to the loading dock behind Cox.
  • Cherry Logan Emerson Hall (Science 2000 Phase I). This $24.5 million, 73,000-square-foot building broke ground May 13 and is scheduled for completion in December 2000.
  • utility work along Pierce Drive. The road has been closed to through traffic next to the track as crews install sanitary sewers, storm sewers and other utilities. During the summer this stretch of Pierce will be open only to shuttle buses and pedestrians. Only a small number of handicapped parking spaces will be available.
  • the Alumni Center. Construction of this $7 million facility on Houston Mill Road, which incorporates the old Scholars Press Building, is expected to be complete in March 2000.

Other projects include renovations of existing buildings and utility work. Though Fields said he hopes to have many of the projects (or at least their most disruptive components) completed by the time the next freshman class arrives on campus, he admitted that fall will be an "interesting time" at Emory. Indeed, summers figure to be interesting for at least the next several years, as a dizzying array of capital projects line up to break ground: the Nursing School, the Cancer Center and future phases of Science 2000, to name just a few. Oxford will also see its share of bulldozers; its new parking facility and performing arts center are scheduled to break ground in June of this year and next, respectively.

Key to easing this sometimes difficult transition for those who must work every day in and around the activity is keeping communication open between FM and its Emory constituents. While the debate over the University Apartments parking deck and shuttle road inflamed passions on campus, it also underscored the necessity of keeping everyone informed of what's going on.

"In the spring of last year, we had some valuable input" from the various committees that later opposed the project, Morales said. "But what we did not understand was they had a problem with new construction in Lullwater and not necessarily the specifics of the project. So open communication from day one is important, just to make sure we're all thinking the same things."

In addition to following its new Capital Development Project Process, which informs and gets approval from all the necessary committees early in the design process, FM also will maintain web sites for its ongoing projects, accessible from the main FM page. These sites will feature construction schedules, contact information and images of the projects as they take form. Fields said he even is considering installing real-time webcams on some of the projects, which could be a valuable tool in recruiting a research building's future inhabitants.

The web site "Today at Emory" <www.emory.edu/ TODAY/> will post updates on road closings and other information of use to University commuters. In addition, Fields said anyone with questions regarding a construction project or other issue may call his office at 404-727-7136.

--Michael Terrazas


Michael Street update

The lower plaza between the Dental School and Rollins Research buildings will remain closed until June 11 due to utility infrastructure work for the Whitehead Research Building, said Capital Program Manager Rex Kizzort.

Kizzort said shuttles will continue to run along Michael Street to Clifton Road all summer. However, for the next few weeks Georgia Power will be doing underground work on Michael Street similar to that recently completed on Clifton in front of WHSCAB. Georgia Power plans to work between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. so that Michael Street will remain open for shuttles during rush hour.

Currently the Whitehead contractor is maintaining pedestrian access through the work site; Kizzort said this access will be cut off when the lower plaza opens. He urged University commuters not to park in the shuttle turnaround area near the Rollins Research Building loading dock. Emory police will ticket and/or tow anyone who parks in this small area created to help maintain timely shuttle service.

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