By Jaci Schneider, Opinion Editor
Plans are still underway for construction to begin on the new residence hall later this month or early next month, said Jack Rich, executive vice president of the university.
The $6 million hall will be built in the parking lot across Campus Court from Brown Library and will house men or women, depending on enrollment figures. Rich said the $6 million includes architecture, construction, furniture and landscaping.
“We’re moving on getting final plans … and working out some of the details,” Rich said.
Some work has already begun for the project including utility lines being moved, said Kevin Watson, chief development officer, in an e-mail.
Hill & Wilkinson, the contractor that built Williams Performing Arts Center, will build the new residence hall, and Rich said it should take 10-12 months to complete the hall.
“We’ve been taking some steps to ensure it can be built quickly,” he said.
Some details still need to be finalized before the project can officially begin, Watson said. Planners must work with the city to establish locations for hot and chilled water lines to cross the street, as well as cable and telephone lines.
“We should break ground in the next couple of weeks and hopefully get into full swing by mid-October,” Watson said.
During construction, the entire parking lot will need to be blocked off for safety purposes, Watson said. Once the building is finished, a parking lot will be built for residents.
Although many students are concerned with parking, Rich said it should not be an issue.
“Over the past four or five years, we’ve added quite a bit of parking,” he said, adding that people may shift where they have to park, but spaces will be available.
“Parking is always an issue on any campus, and I think it will always be an issue,” Rich said. “The location is convenient, and it will be a good addition.”