More News for Students
- A Record 37 Students Graduate From University Honors Program
- Summer Dining Hours
- 'Howie's Pit Stop' -- Summer Snack Bar in the Commons!
- Stellar Students Honored at Commencement
While You Were Away – Summer Construction Update
Now that a section of the Park River has been diverted and the aging dam has been removed, workers are preparing the site for the installation of the bridge foundations.
A section of the Park River has been temporarily diverted through a bypass channel so that it does not flow through the bridge construction site.
The ongoing construction of a new bridge over the Park River and a number of building system overhauls designed to replace aging equipment and improve energy efficiency are among the highlights of what has been a very busy summer construction season.
Bridge Project and Road Closure
The biggest and most visible construction project of the summer – the removal of the dam and construction of a new bridge over the Park River between The Hartt School and Lincoln Theater – will continue throughout the fall semester. The road in that area will remain closed to vehicles and pedestrians through the end of December.
The complex project began in June, when workers temporarily diverted a section of the river through a bypass channel so that it does not flow through the construction site. Crews then removed the dam, which was more than 50 years old and had reached the end of its useful life.
The dam will be replaced with a new, 80-foot clear span bridge. Workers have re-graded the roads and sidewalks and installed new drainage systems on the north and south approaches to the bridge. They are now preparing the site for the installation of the bridge foundations in September. The bridge itself will be put in place later this fall.
While the ongoing road closure will affect vehicle and pedestrian traffic during the fall semester, the bridge construction will not result in a net loss of parking spaces, said Senior Project Manager Chris Dupuis. Only a small portion of D-Lot (about 30 parking spaces) remains closed due to the construction. To compensate for that, an additional 30 spaces have been opened up in the back of C-Lot, behind East Hall. That area had been used by Facilities for materials storage.
More Energy Efficient Buildings
Also this summer, the University undertook the biggest overhaul of building systems on campus since 2001, as workers replaced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and electrical infrastructure with modern, energy-efficient equipment.
These overhauls have enabled the University to get rid of equipment that was past its useful life, and they will have a number of other benefits as well. The upgrades will improve energy efficiency and lower the University’s energy costs, reduce the University’s carbon footprint, and improve the comfort of building occupants, Dupuis said.
The biggest building system upgrades took place in Hillyer Hall, whose HVAC system dates back to the building’s construction in 1959. Workers replaced the HVAC distribution system and upgraded controls throughout the building; replaced the building’s air handler unit; installed energy efficient lighting; and replaced the ceilings in the hallways. In United Technologies Hall, workers replaced the HVAC control system, replaced the air handler unit that serves the building, and installed energy efficient lighting. Other buildings that received HVAC upgrades include the Fuller Music Center (Hartt School) and Auerbach Hall. Workers also made HVAC improvements in the Sports Center (Chase Family Arena).
The upgrades are part of an ongoing campus energy project that included the installation of an energy-efficient dishwasher in the University Commons last fall and the introduction last spring of a campus shuttle bus that runs on biodiesel. The project will continue this fall, with the installation of energy efficient lighting in some of the academic parking lots, and the replacement of the air handler unit on the roof of the Computer Center.
A New Look for University Commons
In another summer construction project, workers have been building a new patio, sidewalks, and landscaping in front of the University Commons.
The project will improve the condition of the walking areas around the Commons and create a more aesthetically pleasing look, with the new patio designed to complement Alumni Plaza below. It also will include a turn-off for taxis and other vehicles picking up and dropping off students in front of the Commons, so that they do not block the main roadway.
In addition, there will be improved handicap accessibility to the Commons and along the sidewalks in front of the Commons.
Many Other Summer Construction Projects
There have been a number of other construction and improvement projects this summer as well. They include the following:
Residence Halls – More than 1,200 student “bed spaces” in the Village Apartments, Regents Park, and E-Complex received new furniture this summer, including desks, desk chairs, bed frames, mattresses, and dressers. This was the second phase of a multi-phase furniture replacement program. To date, more than two-thirds of the residential spaces on campus have received new furniture.
In other residence hall improvement projects, workers also renovated the stairwells in E-Complex, and repaired and replaced doors in Complexes B, D, E, and F. In addition, Grounds crews from the Facilities Department have made landscaping and paving improvements in the parking areas and walkways throughout the Village Apartments.
Landscaping – The area between Millard Circle and Gengras Student Union received a major facelift, with attractive new landscaping and paving improvements. That work also was performed by the Grounds Department in Facilities.
Hillyer Hall – In addition to the HVAC overhaul and energy efficiency upgrades mentioned above, three general purpose classrooms on the second floor of Hillyer Hall were renovated, and a section of the roof in the lobby outside Auerbach Auditorium was replaced. In addition, workers replaced a section of the building façade.
United Technologies Hall – In addition to HVAC and energy efficiency upgrades, United Technologies Hall received a new elevator, the fire alarm system was replaced, and the bathrooms received cosmetic renovations.
Hartford Art School – Workers installed a new transformer for future electrical upgrades to the sculpture and ceramics building. In addition, a new room was built within the woodshop area to house new equipment.
Fuller Music Center (Hartt School) – In addition to HVAC and energy efficiency upgrades, workers replaced the roof above Bliss Auditorium, widened two doorways to allow for the passage of large instruments, and renovated a handicap-accessible bathroom.
Auerbach Hall – In addition to HVAC and energy efficiency upgrades, workers renovated the reception area in Auerbach 227, the Academic Services unit. The renovations include a new reception desk with a handicap-height counter.