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Campus will be abuzz with work this summer

May 7, 2012

Huskie Pride At Work!As students prepare to leave campus for the summer, work crews of all description are waiting in the wings to tackle a long list of maintenance and improvement projects.

From putting the finishing touches on the first new undergraduate residence hall in nearly 50 years to caulking the parking deck, nearly 85 projects will be under way through mid-August and beyond.

While there is always a wave of projects each summer, this will be a particularly busy summer.

The  reason for the flurry of activity can be directly attributed to the university’s Vision 2020 plan. One of the key aspects of that document was a call to reinvest in the maintenance and beautification of campus.

“Many of the projects on this year’s list accomplish both of those goals,” said Jeff Daurer, director of Capital Budget and Planning for the Division of Finance and Facilities. “Projects like painting Huskie Stadium and the Chick Evans Field House not only beautify campus, but they protect important campus assets. Similarly, replacing broken sidewalks and curbs not only makes campus look better, it makes it safer. We tried to make sure that all of these projects gave us as much bang for the buck as possible.”

A complete list of projects and their proposed timelines can be found online. Here is an overview of the work ahead:

Residence Halls

Work inside and out of the new residence hall on the West Campus will continue throughout the summer. The goal calls for the builder to hand over the keys in early August so that Housing and Dining can make final preparations before students arrive.

At Stevenson Towers, contractors will work through the summer to install fire sprinklers in the A and B towers to bring those facilities into compliance with new state laws. Lincoln Hall also will get some exterior work to seal and weatherize the building.

Meanwhile, Grant Tower D and Gilbert Hall will both be humming with activity as the university works to completely modernize those facilities to bring them back on line in the fall of 2013. The Gilbert Hall project will require the closure of the north end of Gilbert Drive for the duration of the project.

Lighting Upgrades

New exterior lighting will be installed around the Neptune housing complex, Anderson Hall and the Music and Visual Arts buildings, as well as along the bike path that runs between the East Lagoon and the Kishwaukee River. Lighting near the bus turnaround at Holmes Student Center also will be replaced.

Parking Projects

Huskie Pride At Work!From mid-May through July, crews will be working in the campus parking deck repairing and caulking floors and making repairs to Stairwell 4. In August, work is planned to repair and upgrade lots 13, 24, 25 will begin, with a goal to complete those tasks by November. Also this fall, significant upgrades to lots K and L, and an expansion of Lot W, will begin. Those projects are scheduled for completion in early 2013.

Roof Replacements

Roof replacement at Still Gym are scheduled to begin in July, with a target completion date of late September. From September until January, crews plan to repair and or replace the roofs of the Music Building, the Visual Arts Building, Montgomery Hall, Reavis Hall, Watson Hall and Zulauf  Hall.

Water Features

New fountains will be placed in the East Lagoon and  the Lorusso Lagoon to improve water quality and control weeds. A new fountain also will be placed in Watson Crick in front of Cole Hall. The work will take place throughout the summer.


From May through September, crews will work through a lengthy list of painting projects ranging from protecting the structural steel on the west side of Huskie Stadium, to sprucing up all of the posts and chains that line many campus walkways. Several building entryways are also on that list, as are portions of the Convocation Center.


Hundreds of linear feet of sidewalk will be repaired or replaced, and several new walkways installed, at locations all across campus. Two of the largest projects will be the replacement of concrete stairways on the north end of Still Hall, as well as the north end of Still Gym, from mid- to late May.

Electrical Upgrades

The electrical infrastructure on the east side of campus will get some badly needed repairs and upgrades; some of the wiring in place is approaching 60 years old. The work will require some planned outages, but usually outside of regular work hours. Occupants of impacted buildings will be notified in advance.