RIT campus construction on schedule; more to come
Sidewalks, crosswalks, buildings and improvements
A. Sue Weisler
Summer is prime construction season at Rochester Institute of Technology, and this year several outdoor improvements are underway on campus.
Current projects include the first phase of a three-year “active transportation improvement” initiative as curbs, speed bumps and sidewalks are reconfigured to improve safety and traffic flow, said Paul Drozdziel, director of RIT’s construction services and project management.
“We want to make the campus safer for pedestrians as well as skateboarders, bikers and drivers,” he said. “It’s a very active summer. The weather has been great so far, and everything is on schedule.”
One of the most visible projects is along Andrews Drive on the east side of campus. Sidewalks are being reconfigured to correspond to the intersection at Perkins Road, and lighted stop signs will be installed to improve pedestrian and driver safety. There will be a gentler pathway to the crosswalk, eliminating a steeper grade that encouraged some skateboarders and bicyclists to approach the crosswalk at a high speed. Some of the time, traffic is being detoured through K Lot. Expected completion of the project is mid-July, Drozdziel said.
Traffic has been detoured for several weeks on Wiltsie Drive at John Street, as Monroe County completes upgrades to a pump station. The project is expected to be completed at the end of August.
The Alumni House being constructed on the western side of campus will also mean detours in the coming weeks. Traffic is being detoured on Andrews Drive through the estimated completion date of July 24, as pedestrian pathway improvements are being made, including a raised crosswalk from the Alumni House to Andrews Drive. The house is expected to be dedicated in the fall.
The exterior of the Wallace Library is being waterproofed and pavement is being replaced, which is restricting access from the north entrance and Liberal Arts Hall. Java Wally’s remains open. The project is expected to be completed by mid-August.
The front of the August Center on the Quarter Mile will be under construction for entrance renovations starting the first week of July. People who need access to Wellness, Counseling & Psychological Services, the Student Health Center, Substance and Alcohol Intervention Services for the Deaf or RIT Ambulance should use the entrance at the back of the building, near the parking area. Construction is expected to last until approximately Aug. 10.
Winds earlier this year damaged the roof on Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall; 75 percent of the building’s roof is being replaced by mid-July, and the remaining part will be replaced next year.
Construction of the 48,000-square-foot building that will house MAGIC Spell Studios, which began two years ago in front of Gannett Hall, is nearing completion with a grand opening planned this fall. The building itself is 95 percent complete, and site work continues on sidewalks and pathways, Drozdziel said.
Another sidewalk reconfiguration is planned starting mid-July from D Lot to Administration Circle. The current sidewalk has a steep grade, which can be slippery in the winter. The walk is being redesigned to follow the curb line and a fire hydrant is being relocated. The project should be completed by mid-August.
Sidewalks are also planned on Royal Farnum Lane, from Andrews Drive to East River Road on the southwest side of campus. Drozdziel said permits are being sought and construction could begin there in the fall.