While the Fleming Administration Building is usually dark and locked at night, several officials convened in the administrative offices after hours.
University officials met for a question-and-answer session Wednesday evening to discuss updates on the upcoming Munger Graduate Residences project development. Several business owners questioned officials about lengths of construction periods and whether the building would be subject to regulations.
The Munger Graduate Residences, which is being constructed after a $110-million donation from Charles Munger, will be located on the corner of Thompson Street and Madison Street, offering housing for graduate students. The project site, which was the formerly the location of Blimpy Burger and a University parking lot, is currently under construction.
As early as next week, the parking lot around the site will be closed to make room for the mass excavation. Both the sidewalk and roads that surround the construction site will still be open to traffic. At the end of the month, the sidewalk on the west side of Thompson Street will be closed, and officials said they are also applying for a permit to close the stretch of Madison bordering the construction site. The sidewalk on the east side of Division Street may also be closed intermittently.
University planner Sue Gott said there won’t be any pile driving — a type of construction technique that results in ground vibrations near the site — during the upcoming phase of construction. Throughout the project, Gott said there will be no major disruptions in the surrounding neighborhood.
Gott also said a large section of East Madison Street between Division and State Streets will be closed in March to replace the water main. During this time, the sidewalk on Division Street will be closed and Thompson Street will become a one-way, northbound street with all parking on the street closed off. Officials are considering opening the University parking structure on Thompson Street to the public as a visitors parking lot during construction. Gott said she estimates construction on Madison will be finished by the time students move out in April.
Most of Thompson Street will be closed throughout the summer while the building is being erected. The residence hall should be fully constructed by the beginning of 2015, and the project should come to a close by mid-July 2015.
The Munger Graduate Residences will be an eight-level structure with apartment-style rooms on the seven floors. The eighth floor will contain a small convenience store, lounges and study rooms.
Jim Kosteva, University director of community relations, said of the graduate housing it will provide an educational exchange between grad students from different graduate schools.
Gott said meetings the one that took place Wednesday will continue so that members of the community are informed and have an opportunity to express concerns. She noted that plans are still open to change.