May 9, 2014
By Gretchen Gregory
Multiple construction projects across Ohio University’s Athens Campus are taking place this summer, with the goal of having minimal disruption to events and activities taking place.
The projects include a complex array of work that consists of multiple road closures, rerouting of traffic, and possible electrical outages. The University is working with the city of Athens and Event Services to ensure projects are conducted in the most efficient manner possible, from start to finish.
There will be a great deal of work focused on College Green this summer. “It will necessitate a lot of general coordination with activities that happen on the green,” explained Harry Wyatt, associate vice president for architecture, design and construction at Ohio University. “We’ve done a lot of work with event functions on campus to not be too disruptive, but still get work done. We want to emphasize to our constituents and public that we don’t want to be too disruptive to planned events, but we’re very proud of this green and we need to take care of it.”
The Concert on the Elms series that traditionally is held on the northeast portion of the green will be relocated to the Wilhelm Amphitheater outside of Scripps Hall on the southwest portion of the green.
Work on the grounds will include rehabilitation of the Class Gateway across from the Schoonover Center for Communication, as well as reworking the walkway leading from the Class Gateway to Cutler Hall. As part of this project, an ADA accessible ramp will be added to the Class Gateway and the walkway leading from it will connect to other accessible walkways on the green.
“The majority of the work is structural restoration and landscape,” Wyatt explained. “The accessible ramp will be woven into the semi-circular flower bed on one side of the gate. It’s a very sensitive design.”
Next summer in 2015, there will be additional improvements on the College Green, including cleaning the Alumni Gate located at the corner of Union and Court Street and the nearby Civil War monument as well as various repaving, drainage, and retaining wall repair. Read more about these renovations here.
Work on buildings located on the College Green includes:
- Roof repair and replacement on Temple-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium, Chubb Hall, and Scripps Hall.
- Painting and repair of wood trim on Cutler, Wilson, McGuffey and Chubb Halls.
- Phased elevator upgrades within Alden Library and Ellis Hall.
- Air handler replacement in Alden Library.
Although there is focus on work on College Green this year, there are many other significant ongoing construction projects taking place on or near campus, including the following:
- Housing Development Plan Construction: Construction started more than a year ago on the five-building complex on the former site of Wolfe Street Apartments and its adjacent lots. The complex will include four residence halls and a learning commons, and will open in fall 2015. There will be various short one-lane road closures near South Green Drive and Race Street to accommodate the ongoing construction. Read the latest about this project here.
- South Green Drive Extension: This new roadway construction will connect South Green Drive with Mill Street on the northeast end of campus near the University’s recreation fields. The construction begins this summer and the road is expected to open in November 2014. There also will be general roadway repair in this general area, including repair of the roadway to Mill Street Apartments.
- Mill Street Connection: The City of Athens is supporting the efforts of Ohio University to connect South Green Drive to Mill Street. There is a section of Mill Street that will be improved during the course of this project from the Mill Street Apartments access road to the curve of the new roadway.
- Tupper Hall: Construction has already started on this year-long project on the east side of College Green. This building has been vacant for more than 10 years and will be renovated as a classroom building. The building will receive a new elevator, all new systems and a new elevator. Since the building will have central air conditioning, the window air conditioners will be removed. This work will require a closure of University Terrace and East Union Street at Jeff Hill. Jeff Hill will initially be closed, and when work is complete, it will reopen and University Terrace will be closed from East Union to the northern part of Ellis Hall. Local traffic can access the facilities on University Terrace north of Park Place to the closed section of roadway.
- Lindley Hall: Construction on this project on the east side of College Green has started and is expected to take one year. Renovations are being made to the building system’s infrastructure, including heating and air conditioning and electrical systems. The building also will receive two new elevators. Lindley Hall is being renovated as an office building with a few classrooms, but there is not an interior reconfiguration plan.
- Utility Tunnel Repairs: The City of Athens will close West Mulberry Street and the north lane of Park Place this summer to accommodate the University’s underground utility tunnel repairs, and a gas line relocation by Columbia Gas Company also is planned. West Mulberry Street will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning on May 5 to support the project. The city’s bus stop near Baker Center has been relocated to President Street to accommodate the West Mulberry work where the gas line relocation is focused. The University’s underground utility tunnel repairs will be conducted from May through the end of November on both West Mulberry Street and Park Place. Workers will rebuild the top of the concrete tunnel and upgrade utility lines within it. During these projects, the City of Athens will change the flow of traffic in this area. Traffic will be one way east to west on the south lane of Park Place and one way south to north on South Court Street.
- Schoonover Center for Communication: The first phase of the rehabilitation of the former Baker Center was completed in fall 2013. The second phase of work will begin this summer and exclusively will be an interior renovation of offices, classrooms, and communications labs.
Construction projects within city of Athens
The city of Athens also is undertaking roadway and utility work this summer near University buildings, and is coordinating with OHIO on projects that will impact city streets, said Athens City Deputy Service Safety Director Ron Lucas.
“Traffic control plans will be thought through so we will be able to maintain access to buildings from an emergency response standpoint and a vehicular traffic perspective,” he said.
City projects include the following:
- Richland South Project: This project will address a number of safety concerns that exist on Richland Avenue between Dairy Lane and Canterbury Drive. Among the improvements will be sidewalks, new pavement, improved access to businesses in the area, the addition of bike lanes on each side, lighting improvements and storm water collection improvements.
The street will remain open to vehicle traffic for the duration of the project, but traffic will be shifted to include use of the middle lane. The project is expected to start in June and be complete by the end of November.
- West Union Street Water Line Replacement: This water line project will take place between Shafer Street and High Street along West Union Street. The road will be repaved when the water line replacement is complete. This project also includes a traffic signal upgrade at the intersection of Shafer Street and West Union Street, and sidewalk improvements at various locations in the project area. A small roundabout is being designed for the intersection of Smith Street and West Union Street.
Traffic control will be managed by removing parking from both sides of the street during construction. Two-way traffic will continue, although during the water line tap phase, traffic will be periodically reduced to one lane and controlled by flagging. The project will begin in July and finish by the end of October.
- Annual Road Rehabilitation Project: The City of Athens paves a number of roads each year. During the summer, the identified roads may have parking removed for asphalt grinding and again for resurfacing. During both phases, vehicle traffic is usually managed by a flagger. Motorists should expect delays when traveling on roadways that are undergoing pavement repairs. This project typically occurs in July and August each year.
View Ohio University Summer 2014 Construction and Closures in a larger map