Caution:Campus Construction

Construction needed to ensure smooth operations on campus

by Published: Nov 28, 2012

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.