Georgia Institute of Technology: The Latest on Campus Improvement Projects
As fall semester approaches, construction and renovation projects continue to improve the campus experience for students, faculty, and staff. While the pandemic — and the associated reduced population on campus — has enabled some projects to move ahead of the original timeline, global supply chain disruptions in the construction industry are having some effect on campus projects.
Currently, all campus projects are moving forward with project managers communicating directly to project owners regarding any cost or scheduling implications. Because of this ever-changing scenario, Design and Construction closely monitors the situation and is adjusting schedules and costs as needed.
Read on for detailed information about the latest campus improvements.
City of Atlanta Water Main Installation along Techwood Drive
The City of Atlanta is installing a 12-inch water main along Techwood Drive between North Avenue and Third Street/Bobby Dodd Way (adjacent to Bobby Dodd Stadium). The project has paused for student move-in but will resume periodically over the next two months during periods of low campus activity. During installation, the northbound lane of Techwood Drive is closed during normal business hours Monday through Friday. The southbound lane is used to maintain two-way traffic, with traffic controllers, during working hours. Both lanes of Techwood Drive are open each night. The access drives to Brittain Dining Hall and those in between Cloudman and Glenn Residence Halls will remain open. On-street parking in ER51 along Techwood Drive may be limited.
Georgia Tech Design and Construction is working closely with the City of Atlanta to ensure this campus improvement project remains on schedule with an expected completion date of mid-October.
Pi Mile Marker Improvement Project
The Pi Mile Marker improvement project features the replacement of the bronze medallion markers along the trail with the installation of new, more robust granite inlay markers, enhancing the visibility of the trail. Several vertical signs will be installed at key entry points to the trail as well as locations along the path to designate the 1-mile marks. The signage will also provide links to a website for more information.
In addition, the recent completion of the EcoCommons coupled with the street work along Tech Parkway/Ferst Drive has slightly altered the route — reducing the amount of road crossings and creating safer path conditions. The estimated completion date is late August. The Alumni Association will host a rededication ceremony for the improved trail in the fall.
Boggs Building Switchgear Replacement
Current work includes an upgrade to the building’s electrical infrastructure by replacing the existing electrical panelboards, transformers, and switchgear, most of which is original to the building’s 1970 construction.
10th Street Chiller Plant Improvements
The 10th Street plant provides chilled water to the campus and currently operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Improvements will increase the electrical resiliency of the plant by upgrading its four electrical substations. During these improvements, the plant will remain operational, with completion expected in April 2022.
Phase 2 Campus Center Renovation and Expansion
With the completion in 2020 of Phase 1 of the Campus Center Project (the Exhibition Hall and the Pavilions), Phase 2 is now substantially underway and includes the renovation of the original part of the Student Center building, a new three-story addition in place of the Stamps Commons, and upgrades to the Kessler Campanile and its surrounding plaza.
The first floor of the Student Center will feature an upgraded Tech Rec (six-lane bowling alley, pool tables, and late-night dining), a revamped Post Office (with high-density mail), and indoor/outdoor dining with covered porch.
The second floor will house the food hall, coffee house, information desk, Burdell’s, and DePoe’s Optical, as well as organizational space for student groups. The third story will feature a graduate student lounge, LGBTQIA Resource Center, student government space, and five meeting rooms.
A large, 298-seat theater will house a full stage and stadium-style seating. Pocket porches on the second and third floors will have the best views of the new Campanile Plaza and will surely be a favorite spot for students, staff, alumni, and visitors.
The iconic Campanile and surrounding plaza are being reconfigured to improve accessibility around the site. Its water feature will be updated to become more sustainable so that beloved campus traditions that occur in that space can safely continue. For more information on the Campus Center Renovation and Expansion Phase 2, visit https://studentcenter.gatech.edu/campus-center-project.
Library Interactive Media Bridge
The construction of a large, digital screen on the underside of the connector bridge between Price Gilbert and Crosland Tower is underway. This giant screen will provide images of upcoming events, identify campus locations for incoming students, illustrate pertinent Institute data and statistics, and feature student work and departmental programs. Content will be provided by campus communicators from each respective college, division, and unit. The expected completion date is late September.
Library Terraces Art
The seventh-floor terraces of Crosland Tower will welcome an art installation by Tristan Al-Haddad, founder of Formations Studio and 10-year faculty member in the Georgia Tech School of Architecture. Composed of spiraling, dichroic polycarbonate strips, the piece creates an incredible spectral symphony as the sun or the viewer moves, providing constant, yet shifting, shafts of light and color.
“Light is often a metaphor for knowledge, and the library is the storehouse for knowledge on campus,” Al-Haddad said. His creation “breaks white light into its component colors, which represents how all the various streams of knowledge combine in the library to light campus.”
The piece will act as a “lantern” in Midtown, said Al-Haddad, allowing viewers to alter how they see the skyline, and how people across Atlanta see the library’s tower. The installation should be complete in early fall.
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