When students and faculty stepped back on campus last week, they may have noticed several additions and updates to the University landscape.
A number of prominent University buildings underwent construction this summer, and some of the renovations will continue into the fall. This year’s projects included the replacement of the scoreboards at Michigan Stadium, renovation of Alice Lloyd Residence Hall that is expected to be finished next summer and the construction of two new Law School buildings.
The University is also updating Crisler Arena by renovating the building and adding a new player development center adjacent to the arena. In addition, the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital will open in November.
The new Big House scoreboards, which were installed in August, are 40 percent larger than the former scoreboards — making them 62 feet tall and 108 feet wide.
Construction projects usually occur over the summer since the University takes advantage of this time when fewer students are on campus and less people are inconvenienced by the resulting detours and noise, according to University Planner Susan Gott.
“Year by year, our needs evolve,” Gott said. “We do attempt to prioritize smaller utility or infrastructure projects to be constructed in the summer months when they are less impactful because the campus population is at a far lower level.”
But bigger projects like the Alice Lloyd renovation and the construction of the Law School’s new South Hall often have to continue into the school year because of the scale of the construction.
“When we have major significant capital projects such as South Hall that take several consecutive years, then those will be year-round projects,” Gott said.
The renovation of Alice Lloyd was approved in December 2010 and is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2012. The residence hall is expected to re-open for student occupancy in fall 2012.
Despite the project continuing into the school year, Gott said there will be minimal and intermittent disruptions. These will mostly take place on Observatory Street, where Alice Lloyd is located. The residence hall construction will also limit student use of nearby Palmer Field, Gott said.
The two additions to the Law School — the Robert B. Aikens Commons and South Hall — are expected to open in January 2012. To prevent distractions for students studying in the Law Quad during the construction period, construction has been limited to times when it will not disrupt academic activities, according to the Law School’s construction website.