Campus to undergo construction this summer

As students prepare to leave for the summer, Campus Design and Facility Development (CDFD) gets geared up for its busiest season. Once the campus becomes vacant, CDFC sets to work on new construction projects that will greet students when they return next fall.

The CDFD handles design, construction, and renovation all over campus.

“These summer projects are critical,” said Ralph Horgan, associate vice provost for CDFD. In order to build or renovate, students and faculty have to be moved. But during the school year there’s nowhere for them to go, because the academic buildings are full.

“It’s hard to find swing space for them,” Horgan said. “That’s why there are so many summer projects.”

Ideally, construction projects can take place largely over the summer after students have left campus, and be completed by the time they return for the fall semester.
Perhaps most visible to students will be the new Tartans Pavilion. The Pavilion will stand between Resnik and the football field. It will be a glass-walled enclosure large enough to act as a cafeteria or a venue for events.

On warm days, large glass windows can open and allow a fresh breeze.

“It will be an indoor-outdoor space,” said Bob Reppe, director of design for CDFD.

Construction on the Pavilion will begin sometime this summer. CDFD plans to have it completed by Homecoming next fall.

Another large project will be a renovation of two more buildings on the fraternity quad. The Phi Kappa Theta and Kappa Delta Rho fraternity houses will get internal makeovers similar to renovations that have occurred in the houses of other fraternities, like Delta Upsilon and Kappa Sigma, over the past several years.

Many academic buildings on campus will receive smaller renovations and maintenance. The Tepper School’s stylistically outdated interior will be updated. Hamerschlag’s famous rotunda will be renovated on the inside, and in summer 2008 will receive some updating on the top floor.

A number of buildings, including Doherty Hall, will be updated to increase handicap access. The entrance to Doherty, just in front of the fence, will receive a large and visible granite ramp. Doherty is the center of a larger ongoing project, including the construction of an entire new wing adjacent to the chemistry labs. The steel skeleton for that structure will begin to be visible next year.

Many labs in the Mellon Institute will also receive varying amounts of renovation.

New study rooms will be built in the basement of Hunt Library and the Engineering and Science Library.

One big change for students will be the relocation of Entropy, Carnegie Mellon’s convenience store. Entropy will remain in the University Center but will move to the space adjacent to Sí Señor. Entropy’s current space will eventually become part of the bookstore.

Part of CDFD’s goal is “keeping the CMU community equipped with state-of-the art buildings,” according to its website. In keeping with this mission, Margaret Morrison will receive two additions that will place it on the cutting edge of design and architecture technology. A bio-diesel generator in the basement will work with solar technology to heat the Intelligent Workspace on the top floor of the building. Also, a new fabrication lab will be installed in which students will be able to use robotic technology to create carvings of 3-D models.

The largest and most visible building project on campus is the Gates Center, currently under construction between the Purnell Center and Doherty Hall. The center is due for completion in 2009.

By that time, the university may be pursuing even larger construction projects, specifically in the area along Forbes near Craig Street. Carnegie Mellon has bought property in the area, including the landmark Holiday Bar, which will be demolished in the middle of June.

“We’re trying to figure out how to connect current campus to Craig Street,” Horgan said. “That could be one of 27 different ways.”

Although that space will be used eventually, CDFD is in the “very early stages” of planning the new addition, Horgan said.