Construction needed to ensure smooth operations on campus
The recent construction on campus has not gone without notice, especially by students like Ashlee Chayka.
Chayka, Ferris sophomore in early childhood development, walks on the east side of campus multiple times a week to get to class or the Student Recreation Center. For her, the construction has been inconvenient.
“You either have to walk in the muddy grass, in the street or cross all the way to the other side [of the road],” Chayka said. “I think they could have at least put down some plywood or platforms because it gets so muddy after the rain.”
However, Physical Plant Associate Vice President Michael Hughes understands the inconveniences, while recognizing the need for the ongoing construction.
“Understanding that this project would have to be completed during the academic year, the planning team invested a significant effort to design the project in such a way as to reduce the disruption and inconvenience to the campus and local community as much as possible,” Hughes said. “We understand this does not mean there has been zero inconvenience, and we greatly appreciate the patience and understanding shown by all.”
The current construction, referred to as the East Electrical Loop Project (EELP), is estimated to be completed by the end of December and was necessary to keep conditions on campus running smoothly.
According to Hughes, the primary electrical infrastructure on campus was 40–50 years old and becoming progressively more undependable.
“The typical service life for this system is approximately 25–30 years. Failures to this system would shut down or significantly disrupt major portions of the campus and disrupt our ability to conduct classes and operate housing and dining facilities,” Hughes said. “The overall goal of this work is to have a safe and reliable electrical service that allows us to focus on our core mission of education.”
The East Electrical Loop Project is the completion of a project that began in 2009, which provided a new high voltage loop around the main campus east of State Street. Underground conduits, electrical cables and above ground switches will be installed during the current construction.
The East Electrical Loop Project is budgeted at $1.5 million and is currently estimated to be completed on time and under budget.
According to Hughes, the funding was taken from Physical Plant’s Capital Renewal and Differed Maintenance program, and funding that had been set aside for the University Center renovation project associated with the demolition of Masselink and Carlisle Halls.
Because a major factor of the project is to accommodate the destruction of Masselink and Carlisle Halls and to support the renovation of the Rankin Center, the funding set aside for this was shared with the EELP.