North Texas Daily

Updates on UNT construction projects

Updates on UNT construction projects

Updates on UNT construction projects
January 16
07:45 2014

Steven James // Staff Writer

Updates on UNT construction projects

It seems like the UNT campus is always under construction in one area or another, and this semester is no different. Here are updates on three of the major construction projects occurring on campus in spring 2014.

University Union

The University Union remodeling is still on schedule to finish in August 2015, adding another 100,000 square feet to the old building’s 200,000 square feet.

Even though the construction at the Union is causing students, staff and faculty to have longer routes to class, university union director Zane Reif said that members of the UNT community are warming up to the new Union.

“We have been testing some of the new furniture with students, faculty and staff, and they seem to like it,” Reif said.

Reif also said that the workers and the university have completed demolition abatement with contractors, so the speed of the construction process should quicken soon.

The staff at the Union is also trying to set up some events so that people may come and see what is going on exactly during the construction process.

“Soon, we will start giving tours of the construction site; probably in February,” Reif said.

Bruce Hall

The construction project for Bruce Hall was supposed to be complete in December, but complications arose. Associate Director for Dining Services Shohreh Sparks said the estimated opening is now Jan. 20.

Bruce Hall director Joshua Brown said that the inclement weather UNT experienced during December was the main reason for the delay in construction.

“They had originally aimed for the goal of December, but they never actually made that their official deadline,” Brown said. “There were weather delays and other complications that the company just did not count on.”

Associate director of resident dining Peter Balabuch said that workers also experienced difficulties because Bruce Hall is an older building built in 1946.

“Basically, anytime you work with a building that was built in the mid-40s, you’re going to experience some delays,” he said.

Balabuch said walls had to be taken down before the project could move forward.

“First, the buildings must pass regulations and building safety protocols,” Balabuch said. “Hopefully, the building will be turned over to us soon from the contractors.”

The project will increase the seating in the cafeteria by 240.

Discovery Park

Workers and contractors for a Discovery Park project are adding an engineering testing lab onto wing D of the main Discovery Park Building. The lab is scheduled to finish in March.

The project helps UNT engineering students keep up with other engineering colleges by providing room for new equipment.

“This is the first expansion on the current Discovery Park,” senior project manager Janna Morgan said. “We are hoping that the expansion will help give engineering students more opportunities to learn more skills and do better in classes.”

Morgan also said that the expansion should provide engineering students with research benefits from the start to the end of their undergraduate careers.

New equipment will be provided for mechanical and electrical engineering students, as well as manufacturing equipment and a shared machine shop area for hands-on learning.

New offices will also be built for staff and faculty.

Feature photo: Bruce Hall’s dining area is one of the busiest dining locations on campus. The dining area is being renovated to expand the maximum capacity from 430 to 664 students, adding space for more than 200 people, said Peter Balabuch, associate director of resident dining. Photo by Zixian Chen / Senior Staff Photographer

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