By Katy Dara
Photo Credit - Habib Affinnih / ASP
The Academic Podium is undergoing maintenance which is estimated to last until 2020, says facilities management.
The construction is replacing and reinforcing the concrete in the deck with new drainage. It is being done in pieces, currently outside of the small fountain in front of the Campus Center.
“Slowly, we’re getting to all the hotspots,” says John Giarusso, Associate Vice President of Facilities Management. “And what we do is we rank the worst-of-the-worst and we’re getting to them.”
The renovation will also include the addition of accessibility ramps to the north side of the Podium. The elevator by LC 27 will also be renovated to take students up to the promenade level around the Fountain. The elevator is expected to be completed by Spring 2020.
The lecture center is also under construction.
“Right now we’re into phase two of what might be a seven-plus phase plan,” Giarusso says.
Phase one was lecture centers 10 through 15, which were finished last summer. Phase two is lecture centers one and two, which will be restored with modern technology.
The restrooms on the east side of the LC concourse will be gutted as well, and are expected to be finished by April 2020.
118 bathrooms will be renovated on both the uptown and downtown campuses.
These projects are part of the Facilities Master Plan (FMP), which was developed from 2010 through 2012. The FMP identifies and prioritizes future construction projects that advance the Strategic Plan of the University.
“At any given time we’re tracking 200-plus jobs here and there,” Giarusso says. “But the ones that are noticeable to students probably are the Podium deck repair and replacement by the Campus Center small fountain right now.”
Giarusso says construction is a good thing, even though it may inconvenience students.
“To not do construction would mean that we don’t have the resources to upgrade the facilities,” Giarusso says. “Any facility… needs to be constantly renewed and refreshed. That’s a good thing.”