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News, University News

Wellness Center and Residence Hall construction expedited for summer 2021 occupancy

Lincoln Field Building renovation paused due to pandemic, financial, safety constraints

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, October 22, 2020

The University has implemented new safety measures for construction workers in order to avoid delays from COVID-19 cases.

The University has expedited the construction of the new Wellness Center and Residence Hall in preparation for hosting students and staff for a summer semester.

The residence hall is the University’s first new dorm to be built in about 35 years, and was initially planned to be completed in August 2021. 

The plans for the new residence hall were announced in fall 2018. The center will house Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services, BWell Health Promotion and Emergency Medical Services, and it will also contain suite-style housing and co-housing areas with common spaces for student, adding 162 new beds. 

The building housing both the new dorm and wellness center is now expected to be completed by May 2021, according to Paul Dietel, assistant vice president of planning, design and construction. 

The University will be able to move students into the residence hall by May and the Wellness Center teams — including Counseling and Psychological Services and Health Services — will move into the building over the summer. 

The tri-semester model, which plans for instruction during the fall, spring and summer semesters, was implemented to de-densify campus, decreasing the number of students living in residence halls at one time and prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

Nat Hardy / Herald

The Wellness Center and Residence Hall is expected to be completed in May 2021, in time to house students during the summer semester.

According to current plans, the first-year and sophomore students could be among the students who attend the summer semester, which is currently set to start May 12, 2021. 

Expedited construction did require more resources from contractors and designers, but they achieved this “through efficiencies in the process with no additional cost to the project,” Dietel wrote in an email to The Herald. 

The project is in “peak construction right now” as the exterior is closed and made ready to withstand winter weather, Dietel said. They will then begin work on the interior. 

While some projects have been sped up to accommodate pandemic planning, the Lincoln Field Building renovation is on hold until further notice, wrote Vice President for Facilities Management Michael Guglielmo Jr. in an email to The Herald. 

The Lincoln Field Building renovation and expansion has been put on hold “out of an abundance of caution” due to financial pressures from COVID-19-related costs, Dietel wrote. 

There is no current timeline for when construction will resume, Guglielmo wrote. Construction had not yet started, so the building is still fully occupied by the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences. 

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