North Texas Daily

Construction continues through the summer

Construction continues through the summer

March 24
01:08 2016

Alejandro Medellin | Staff Writer

@skinny_fats

Students staying at UNT for the summer should plan for more construction as several projects begin and others finish. 

As the campus clears out, the facilities and housing departments will take time to renovate old buildings or build completely new ones.

“The university administration, our new president and all of the cabinet are very interested in improving the aesthetics of the university,” director of facilities planning, design & construction Helen Bailey said. “And really making our mark and making it much clearer that you’ve arrived on our campus.”

One big change coming to campus will be a new overpass leading from North Texas Boulevard to Victory Hall. The project is being funded by UNT, TXDOT and the city of Denton.

“We have all worked to fund the upgrades that we’ve made to that bridge so that it identifies UNT and it identifies the city of Denton,” Bailey said. “The street name will be embossed under the concrete of the rail so when you drive under it will say North Texas Boulevard.”

The university will rebuild the UNT monument on North Texas Boulevard next to Interstate 35N. It’s expected to be completed this summer, well after this year’s commencement class can take graduation photos with it. It’ll cost $711,000, according to an internal report on the project.

The demolition of Stovall Hall will be wrapping up soon. An art installation donated by the late UNT alumni Jesús Moroles will replace the old building. It’s expected to happen late spring or early summer, Bailey said.

Another big project on the master plan will be the central path. The central path will start at Rawlins Hall and cut across campus to Clark Park. The path is expected to begin this summer, Bailey said.

Bailey added that the university has “always been striving” to look better and lately the efforts have “been stepped up.” The sudden rise comes from the university being recognized as a top-tier school in the area of research output by the Carnegie Classifications.

The facilities department will upgrade older buildings to legal fire codes and will work on other technical problems and renovations. Students who are interested in the fire code upgrades can view the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report found on the student affairs website. 

Mozart Hall will have its walls, ceilings, hallways and residential rooms renovated as well. Earlier this year there was work done to the envelope – the separator between the interior and exterior of the building — to seal any cracks or leaks, Director of Housing James Fairchild said.

“This summer it won’t be occupied so that it can get a facelift on the interior,” Fairchild said.

McConnell Hall will be offline this summer as the building undergoes a fire sprinkler installation and infrastructure upgrades.

“Infrastructure upgrades are the things that are being done in the building to keep it functioning well,” he said.

Fairchild said the university will install a stairwell in College Inn because some exits lead to dead ends, and this will facilitate escape in the event of a fire.

“Some of the work being done this summer in a couple of the halls is to address code requirements and state law requirements for life safety issues,” Fairchild said.

Last year the push for fire sprinklers began in older buildings on campus like Sycamore Hall and a couple of residence halls. Maple Hall is expected to be the last residence hall to be outfitted with the fire sprinklers, but that could be as late as summer 2017.

“The state fire marshal makes an annual visit to campus,” Fairchild said. “When they visit they review things and there are changes within fire code on occasion but it’s also based on what they see and the condition of what they see when they go into whatever building.”

Students who wish to avoid areas which cause traffic should visit the construction obstruction report found in the facilities website. The report is updated monthly and contains information regarding the location, and when it can be expected to end.

Featured Image: Illustration Samuel Wiggins | Senior Staff Illustrator 

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