Construction temporarily reroutes university traffic

Construction continues on Simmons Great Hall and the Northslope Apartments as the semester passes quickly by.

The construction crew began delivering the steel to form the walls of the cafeteria addition on Monday.

Next Monday through Thursday, several large pieces of steel will arrive on campus. As a result, a portion of West Valley Drive will be closed from University St. to Bell Science Hall. Students will still be able to access the Mabee and Chapman parking lots from the entrance by the flagpoles.

“We are all waiting for those big pieces to get here,” said Steve Beers, vice president for student development. “Once the steel goes up you get to a sense of the volume of the building.”

While they wait, the University, architect and construction crew continue making smaller decisions about the interior. Every last detail from doors to interior window blinds to loading docks must be planned.

The crew on the Northslope Apartments is still working to lay the foundation. For the past two weeks, they have been getting utilities to the building such as electric, sewer, water and gas. They also delivered rebar to put in the footing for the concrete foundation.

“It’s still foundational stuff, running pipes to the building, putting the foundation in,” Beers said. “They will probably start laying blocks for the basement soon. There is a basement apartment that will eventually be built, so they’ll have to put blocks down there.”

This late in the semester, townhouse residents are used to the noise from nearby construction. Junior Leah Engstrom said the construction starts about 6 a.m. every morning.

“At first it was annoying, but by now I am used to it,” she said. “They start the jackhammers early in the morning. Our walls literally shake.”