Construction under Catlin Avenue expected for summer into school year

Due to the flood dur­ing the sum­mer, the pipes that con­forms the steam sys­tem respon­si­ble for the heat of our cam­pus build­ings suf­fered dam­age. The insu­la­tion that helps to keep the pipes in good order have been destroyed or per­ma­nently com­pro­mised. A project to fix the steam dis­tri­b­u­tion sys­tem was pro­posed in the Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal on Feb­ru­ary 28 as well as at sev­eral meet­ings in Supe­rior, offer­ing an oppor­tu­nity to review and com­ment about the changes and propo­si­tions involved in the project.

The meet­ing held on March 14 pre­sented the last oppor­tu­nity to sub­mit com­ments for mod­i­fi­ca­tions or inquires to be stud­ied in the final draft of envi­ron­men­tal impact. Den­nis L. John­son is the super­vi­sor of envi­ron­men­tal ser­vices from Ayres Asso­ciates, the com­pany in charge of the envi­ron­men­tal impact study.

The project itself con­tem­plate exca­va­tion, replace­ment, and water­proof­ing of the con­duit steam sys­tem between Faxon Street and Crown­hart Hall and has been divided in two phases. The first start­ing in late May 2013 and the sec­ond stage start­ing in the sum­mer of 2014. The first phase of the project has been put into three seg­ments  Seg­ment 1; Cam­pus mall to Crown­hart hall, Stage 2; Fine Arts cen­ter seg­ment, and seg­ment 3; Faxon Street.

Dur­ing the sum­mer the stu­dents in the Res Halls, espe­cially Crown­hart res­i­dents, will have some dis­rup­tion regard­ing the con­struc­tion work. Some poten­tial impacts will include noise and dust. Pub­lic trans­porta­tion will be rerouted as well as traf­fic on Catlin Ave. Park­ing on Catlin Ave. and Faxon Street will be lim­ited and pedes­trian walk­ways will be closed as well as  some of the dri­ve­ways, but only temporarily.

Another poten­tial impact includes that the access to the build­ings, mainly, Crown­hart and Holden Fine and Applied Arts will be tem­porar­ily blocked by the con­struc­tion. It has been pre­de­ter­mined that always at least one entrance to the build­ings will remain open for the student’s access. The sched­ule will be adapted to the reslife hours to min­i­mize noise and dust dur­ing the con­struc­tion process.

I plan on liv­ing in Crown­hart this sum­mer. It will def­i­nitely be a very dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence than pre­vi­ous or future years here, but I sup­pose all this con­struc­tion is for the best,” said stu­dent Felic­ity Bosk.

The land­scape will also suf­fer some impact; trees will be replaced or defin­i­tively removed. The land­scape that will suf­fer the biggest trans­for­ma­tion will be the green areas in front of the Holden, where 14 trees will be repo­si­tioned or replaced by smaller vegetation.

When most of the stu­dents return for the fall semes­ter, they might expect to see some block­ing and fenc­ing, espe­cially in the walk­way between the Yellow-Jacket Union and Crown­hart hall.

The cost of the project is $4.99 mil­lion. That will cre­ate up to $6.58million in ben­e­fits in the long term. The esti­mated cost of the project will not increase the fees in res­i­dence hall rates, park­ing per­mits or other student’s fees. UWS will attempt to par­tially recover cost through found­ing avail­able with FEMA and WEM.

Manuel Rodriguez
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