April 10, 2000
Volume 52, No. 28
Construction projects on track for summer
BY MICHAEL TERRAZAS
Along with oppressive heat and more relaxed days, recent Emory summers have brought with them the sound of construction cranes and jackhammers, and summer 2000 will be no different. But with a parking deck set to open at University Apartments, along with a new home for the School of Nursing, Emory will have something concrete to show for its growing pains.
Facilities Management lists no fewer than 17 separate capital projects currently in the construction phase, but some of the more high-profile ones will wrap up toward the end of the summer or early in the academic year. Three major new projects--the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Science 2000 Phase II and the Winship Cancer Institute--are due to break ground by January 2001.
Work is on schedule for the UA parking deck and shuttle road to be operational by late September, said Capital Program Manager Hector Morales, adding that a 500-ton crane is due to arrive today to lay the center steel pieces of the bridge over the CSX rail line near Turman Residential Center.
Parking Director Bill Collier said, at the beginning of fall semester, some students will be temporarily assigned to park at Emory West until the UA deck is online. At that time, he said hospital, clinic and some University staff, along with students, will be reassigned to the UA deck. People are welcome, Collier said, to volunteer for UA parking.
But the site along Clairmont Road will see more action than just the parking deck this summer, Morales said, as Emory continues razing the rest of its garden apartment buildings. He said lead and asbestos abatement of the existing buildings will be done in June and July, with demolition and grading to follow. By winter 2002, UA will have a whole new look--and 600 new beds for Emory undergraduates.
Former students will also have a new home in June, when the Miller-Ward Alumni Center is completed. The $7.5 million, 23,000-square-foot facility has dominated the view along Houston Mill Road this year, and Morales said preliminary discussion has begun concerning a possible pedestrian bridge over the road, connecting the alumni house with the Emory Conference Center.
Just down Houston Mill, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing's new building is on schedule for completion in January. Work related to the $22.1 million structure recently created a traffic delay on Clifton Road, but project manager Steve Lange said the cause can be traced to DeKalb County, not Emory, and should not happen again.
Lange said only DeKalb was authorized to work on the underground water lines beneath Clifton, but the county would not work on weekends, when Facilities Management normally does the most disruptive construction work. So the work had to be done on a Friday (March 31), and to compound matters, the county workers drilled too far through a water main, which then began to leak all over Clifton.
He said there is still work to be done on the lines, but it is work Emory can do itself. "Anything we can do within our control, we do after hours," Lange said.
Lange will also be the project manager for the Winship Cancer Institute, which will be located on the site currently occupied by Uppergate Pavilion. Abatement of Uppergate will begin in July, Lange said, followed by demolition and construction. He said the building will be sprayed down with water while being demolished to cut down on the amount of dust in the air.
Moving toward the campus interior, the Whitehead Memorial Research Building will begin to take shape in the next few months, according to project manager Bill Chatfield. Already gone is the wooden tunnel built to protect pedestrians during initial construction, and Chatfield said the $82.8 million building's skeletal frame will be completed this summer.
Chatfield said access to the bridge over the railroad tracks will be temporarily closed when he begins rebuilding the plaza behind the Dental School Building, but that will not occur until summer 2001. He said Whitehead occupants can expect a move-in date of December 2001.
Morales said this summer's Open Space project will close two additional stretches of road: Asbury Circle from Pierce Drive to Fraternity Row, and Pierce from Asbury down to Arkwright Road (behind Bishops Hall). There will no longer be parking on Pierce next to Dobbs and Tarbutton halls, but the spaces on Arkwright will still be available. Morales said the new pedestrian-only streets will not be paved this summer with red brick, but there are plans to do so in the future.
Only a few feet away is Emerson Hall (Science 2000 Phase I), scheduled for completion in December. Project manager Bill Morgan said there are no scheduled traffic or pedestrian disruptions. "It's going to look very interesting, very attractive," he said of the facility that is part classic Emory--white stucco walls with a terra cotta roof--and part steel and glass.
Science 2000 Phase II, which will be located next to the B. Jones Center, across the street from White Hall, will begin work in November, but the bulk of construction will be reserved for 2001, said project manager Chip Bullock. It is scheduled for completion in August 2002.
Finally, the long-awaited Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, to be located in the wooded area between the business school, Fishburne Parking Deck and North Decatur Road, will break ground in October. Campus Planning Director Jen Fabrick, who will serve as project manager for the facility, said demolition of the annex building next to Fishburne will be done beforehand, and she doesn't expect any major traffic disruptions for the arts center. The $31.2 million facility is scheduled for completion in June 2002.