Heads up! Graduation weekend once again has triggered a hectic 12-14 weeks of building and road projects on campus. Some of the work wraps up within the summer window; other work is part of larger, ongoing projects. Inside takes a quick look at a few projects you might want to have on your radar in the next few months:
Biosciences building projects
Work continues on the new biosciences teaching and research facility on the northwest corner of Stange Road and Pammel Drive, as well as a four-story addition to the east side of Bessey Hall. Drivers and pedestrians should expect high levels of construction traffic in these areas this summer.
A short section of Osborn Drive, from Stange to Farmhouse Lane, will be closed June 6-28 for underground utility connections to the Bessey addition. During this time, the Stange barricades east of Lagomarcino Hall will be removed, and vehicles and CyRide buses will access central campus via Stange.
Target completion dates for the two projects are fall 2017 (Bessey addition) and spring 2018 (teaching/research facility).
As part of a continuous effort to upgrade all 215 general university classrooms, the 11 on Pearson second floor will be taken out of use on June 1 for a $1 million renovation. The improvements include new mechanical and lighting systems, instructional technology upgrades, and new room finishes and furniture. Corridor spaces will be repurposed for post-class meeting areas and a student collaboration area. The floor will return to use fall semester 2017.
The original slate tile roof (dating to 1927) on the central, highest part of the Memorial Union will be replaced this summer. Tuck pointing also will be completed on the chimneys and other structures above the roof line. Scaffolding erected on the third-floor roof will surround the work area and scaffold stairs for crew members will be erected on the east side of the building, requiring the north entrance to the MU parking ramp to be closed. The anticipated timeline for this project is mid-June to mid-November.
MU front lawn
The area around the Fountain of the Four Seasons on the Memorial Union north lawn will be relandscaped this summer as part of President Steven Leath's campus beautification initiative. The fountain was encased in a protective box this week. Plaza and sidewalk construction should wrap up by mid-July, with planting to follow. The changes will visually connect the front lawn to the university wall across the street.
The four-lane road will be repaired, resurfaced and restriped as a two-lane road this summer. The conversion to two traffic lanes will create space for center turn lanes and painted (not built up) medians. The work will start in early June and continue for four weeks, two lanes at a time. The final paving and striping will require the road to close for about three days.
Stange Road bridge repairs
Good news! We’re four days into a scheduled 30-day closure of Stange Road between 13th Street and Bruner Drive for repairs and resurfacing of the Squaw Creek bridge. Completion is scheduled by June 7.
The southwest corner of campus is targeted for sidewalk repairs this summer (May 9-Aug. 5). The focus area generally is bordered by Lincoln Way, Sheldon Avenue, Marston Court and Pearson/Marston halls.
Additionally, the sidewalk widening work on the north side of Osborn Drive that began last summer continues this summer in front of Lagomarcino (May) and Science (June) halls.
And here are a few updates on projects approaching completion:
Marston Hall renovation
A two-year effort that gutted and restored all four floors of Marston Hall winds down this month and mechanical and other systems will get a final test. Furniture installation begins in mid-June, with Engineering college tenants returning in July. The new Marston includes three state-of-the-art classrooms for fall semester use.
Sixth Street bridge replacement (city of Ames project)
The bridge's road surface is poured, and the contractor is adding concrete barrier rails and installing stabilizing materials to the creek bank. Weather permitting, crews will tear up the road approaches at both ends of the bridge by mid-May to reconstruct the street. Sixth Street is expected to reopen by Aug. 1.