Campus covered by construction projects

Kate Snyder and Kate Snyder

The student-shaped void in the University’s heart this summer has been filled with hard hats, bulldozers and yellow caution tape.

All around campus, sections are roped off for various construction projects.

South Tunnel is under construction for the summer.

The tunnel carries communication lines, steam and electricity from building to building, said Eric Wolfe, the project superintendent.

‘Your hot water in the dorms … is all fed by the steam,’ he said.

The first phase of the renovation project began May 11, and will continue until the beginning of August.

Phase one plans include a new section of tunnel at McFall Center and construction reaching Anderson Arena, said Ken Webb, the pipe-fitter foreman for the project. Phase two will pick up next summer, when renovation on the tunnel will begin at Anderson and continue to Harshman.

Webb said South Tunnel is under construction because the concrete is deteriorating and the pipes are old. The tunnel hasn’t been renovated in 40 to 50 years.

‘It shows it,’ Webb said. ‘It’s had its life.’

Aside from upgrading the old pipes and concrete, the renovation will also expand the tunnel’s capacity.

‘The steam system is at its maximum right now,’ Webb said.

The current lines in the tunnel are six inches, Webb said, but the new ones will be twelve, which will allow additional buildings to plug into the tunnel system and feed off the electrical, steam and communication lines.