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Harrison Updates Neighbors on Construction Projects
A number of those who attended the neighborhood meeting took advantage of the opportunity to tour the classrooms and laboratories of the recently completed ISET building. They also saw the “ISET in Ninety Seconds” video, which gives a time-elapsed view of the building’s construction. President Harrison told the audience that the goal of the ISET complex is to create a facility that will train young people for the high-demand careers of the future.
Harrison also outlined the Home Field Advantage project, which involves remaking Al-Marzook Field with a dramatically improved drainage system and a field turf surface. He said the improved soccer and lacrosse field will be ready by August 2005, in time for fall competition. A new baseball field and a relocated softball field, which are also included in Phase I of the project, will be completed in time for the spring 2006 season.
The new and improved fields will be available for community uses, particularly in the summer months, Harrison said.
With regard to the Performing Arts Center, the construction documents for the project have been delivered to the university, Harrison said. The start date for the first phase of the project will be sometime between September 2005 and April 2006, depending on the rate of success of the university’s fundraising efforts, Harrison said.
He noted that the complex, to be located on the site of the former Thomas Cadillac distributorship, will preserve the unique exterior character of the existing buildings, which were designed in 1929 by pioneering industrial architect Albert Kahn. The Performing Arts Center will house The Hartt School’s Theatre, Dance, and Vocal Divisions, and provide additional space for the Hartt Community Division.
Construction is expected to start in early spring 2006 on the new building for the University High School of Science and Engineering, which will be located on Mark Twain Drive Extension. The 89,000-square-foot, three-story building is being designed by Jeter, Cook and Jepsen and built by Fusco construction company. It is expected to be open by September 2007.
The University High School, which opened in September 2004 in temporary quarters on the university’s Asylum Avenue campus, will remain at that location for the next two academic years.
The floor plan for the new building, which was on display at the meeting, is very open, taking advantage of wireless technology, Harrison said. The school's roof will have a “green space” for environmental laboratories, he said.
As part of the project, a new entrance to the university will be created from Mark Twain Drive Extension, providing easier access to the campus from Albany Avenue and helping to reduce traffic on Bloomfield Avenue, Harrison said.