Union Patio, construction projects planned for summer

With the Spring semester coming to a close, students can expect to see many changes throughout the college campus when they return in the Fall. Over the summer, the College will begin spending nearly $30 million on campus renovations and construction.

The campus construction projects in the summer include the on-going renovation of Erie Hall, replacement of the roofs of Genesee and Allegany Halls and Letchworth Dining Hall, major improvements to the Putnam Quad, renovation and improvement of the Union Plaza, and the window replacements in Welles Hall.

Other projects over the summer include the preliminary design of a new college stadium located on the site of the Holcomb building. The renovation of Greene Hall, and phase II of the design project for a new residence hall, to be named Seneca Hall, will both begin construction later in the Fall.

According to Jeffrey Kaplan, Director of Facilities Planning & Construction, several of the larger projects, such as the construction of the new residence hall and the site improvements of the Union patio, will still be under construction and inaccessible to students when they return in the Fall.

The Union Plaza landscaping project, which costs $1.2 million, will reach from the main doors of the Union to the entrance to the second floor of Mary Jemison (MJ) Dining Hall, linking MJ and the Union together. This project will make the Union inaccessible to students through its main doors until the project is complete when existing steps will be leveled to the same height as the doors.

According to Chip Matthews, Director of the College Union and Activities, the traffic going in and out of the Union through those main doors ranges from 2,000 to 2,500 on weekdays. Matthews explained, "We will lose traffic from MJ but students should be advised that the doors on the lower level as well as on the upper level remain accessible to students."

The outcome of the Union Plaza project is designed to improve outdoor student and faculty space. According to the Facilities Planning Web site, it will include "study pods and seating alternatives, linking the Union to the MJ Dining Hall, reduce stairways, improve lighting and ADA access." "Cardiac Hill," going up from MJ to Sturges Hall and infamous for its steepness, will also be reconstructed. "Once the construction is done, the plaza will be a great place for students to hang out and eat," said Matthews.

The windows in Welles Hall will also be replaced over the summer. Temporary windows will be installed while the windows facing the parking circle will be restored off site. All other windows will be replaced with new, aluminum clad windows of matching design, Kaplan said.

Renovations of Bailey Hall are currently underway in order to improve the chemistry and physics labs for students' use while Greene Hall is closed for renovations for the next two years.

The College Stadium is currently in its preliminary design process. According to Kaplan, an estimate of the total project cost of the new college stadium will be about $13.5 million. The launch of the construction for this project is still unknown.

Future construction plans are also in the works. Students will be receiving an online survey regarding the oldest dormitory halls. "The planning committee is studying how to best reuse or replace Monroe, Livingston, Jones and Steuben Halls," said Kaplan. The results of the study will indicate what improvements will be made with the center quad in the future.

More information on the construction projects can be found on the Facilities Planning and Construction Web site at http://www.geneseo.edu/CMS/display.php?dpt=facplan.