Area between Willis Library and Hurley Administration Building receiving a makeover

Area between Willis Library and Hurley Administration Building receiving a makeover

Area between Willis Library and Hurley Administration Building receiving a makeover
July 29
09:12 2018

The grassy area between the Hurley Administration Building and Willis Library is receiving a makeover for the upcoming semester. 

The area is currently closed off to students, and construction is expected to be finished by Sept. 27, a month after classes begin.

“There’s not much there for [students] to take advantage of at this point, so that’s a space the university figured we could improve and make more comfortable for students to be able to have places to congregate,” said Chad Davenport, project manager and senior design specialist.

Because so many events are held in this area throughout the school year, the school sees the renovations as a smart choice.

“The sidewalk structure is going to change,” Davenport said. “There’s a large throwaway — for lack of a better word — sidewalk going across the campus kind of in a diagonal path of the southwest or northeast corner. This is a segment continuing to get that larger sidewalk in place for students to be able to traverse across the campus a little easier and safer.”

Other changes will include creating seating areas and more spaces for students to come together, along with a redesign of landscape. Although construction started early in July, the project isn’t predicted to be finished until after fall classes begin Aug. 27.

“For everybody’s safety, we will be maintaining the construction fence [when classes begin],” Davenport said.

Willis Library and the library mall are high traffic areas for students. With construction still taking place at the start of the school year, students may need to plan alternative routes to class to avoid the construction site.

“It’s project that’s been under design for a couple of years,” said David Reynolds, associate vice president for facilities. “We do big events out there like University Day, and so we’ll still be able to do those kind of things there, but it’ll now be a little bit more inviting.”

While the changes may be exciting to some, others feel the changes may not be necessary.

“For me personally, I don’t think [the construction] will be seen as a nuisance, but I’m sure for some students who go by that area often, it could be seen as a nuisance,” media arts senior Danny Palma said. “I don’t believe it is necessary, especially with all the construction around campus already, but it could be cool to see some new nice areas around campus.”

The beautification of this area will cost roughly $700,000.

“I think it will interfere with students’ commute to classes, especially if the student already has a long walk to get to their class,” Palma said. “Any time there’s some sort of construction on campus, it seems to interfere with students’ ability to get to class.”

Despite some students possibly having to talk a little longer to get around campus, Reynolds believes the beautification efforts will be worth it in the end.

“We just ask for patience and understanding because it’s a little dusty and dirty,
Reynolds said. “People [are going to have to] walk a little further, but it’s going to be a great project when it wraps up.”

Featured Image: The space between the Hurley Administration Building and Willis Library in order to add a sidewalk to make foot traffic easier. Construction should be completed by the end of September. Emilia Capuchino

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Rebecca Najera

Rebecca Najera

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