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Correction appended.

This summer, the University will make substantial progress on a number of capital projects, while smaller projects, such as residence hall renovations, will also be completed during the coming months. "The financing has been put together, the planning has been done and we are ready to do the construction," said Richard Spies, executive vice president for planning and senior adviser to President Ruth Simmons

The Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center in Faunce House will be completed before students return to campus in August, said Stephen Maiorisi, vice president for Facilities Management. The $20.8 million space is slated to include a dining facility, an official University information center, the Student Activities Office and student organizations, as well as meeting areas and lounges, according to Paul Dietel, director of project management. 

The University broke ground Tuesday on the $45 million Medical Education Building, the new home for the Alpert Medical School in the Jewelry District, to be completed by August 2011, Maiorisi said.

After a number of adaptations to the plan, the athletics complex will undergo significant changes as work on the Aquatics and Fitness Center commences. With an operating budget of $46.6 million, the facility, which should be done by January 2012, is part of the new athletic quadrangle, Dietel said.

With the establishment of the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences in July 2010, the merged department will relocate to the Metcalf Chemistry and Research Laboratory.

"We were looking at a new building, but ultimately it made more sense to use underutilized space," Maiorisi said. 

The $42 million structure should be complete by January 2011, Dietel said. Final authorization, though expected, is still needed at the Corporation meeting in May, Maiorisi added.

In addition, construction on the Creative Arts Center, a $40 million project that will include spaces such as a recital hall with about 200 seats, three production studios, an electronics and multimedia lab, as well as a gallery, will continue and be completed by December, according to Dietel. 

While the building's skeleton has gone up, the glass, mechanical and electrical infrastructure will be installed over the summer, Maiorisi said, and with "more intense" efforts, there will be a focus on ensuring the building is weather-tight.

The Creative Arts Center Green is part of the fourth phase of the Walk, a passage connecting the Main Green and Pembroke Campus scheduled to be done when the building opens in December 2010. The prior three phases of the of the Walk — including the Sidney Frank Hall Passage, the space between Waterman Street and Angell Street Green and Pembroke Hall Front Green — are already finished, according to Facility Management's Web site.

Upcoming construction is not limited to key capital projects — the University undertakes over a total of 80 assignments each summer, Dietel said.

For example, he noted that both a data center upgrade and new communications center for public safety located in the Watson Center for Information Technology are currently in progress and will be finished by July 2010.

Several dorm renovations will also take place, though part of the three-year plan announced in 2008 "was put on hold because of the economy," said Thomas Forsberg, associate director of housing and residential life.

Generally, "what we're doing here is more of a cosmetic" job, Forsberg said.

All four New Pembroke buildings will receive face-lifts — the University plans on doing painting and flooring work in bedrooms, lounges, kitchens and corridors as well as improvements in bathrooms, Forsberg explained.

Additionally, new flooring will be installed alongside a fresh paint job in Vartan Gregorian Quad Building B, he said. 

Dietel said these two dorm projects have a combined total budget of $2 million and in addition to these initiatives, "we are trying to see if we can do anything with furniture connected to these, but that has not been finalized or funded yet," Forsberg added.

Another task is the replacement of the Minden Hall elevator, which has not been working well since the building opened as a student residence in 2001, according to Forsberg. This will cost another $2 million, Dietel said.

Ultimately, the constructions underway "are all critically important parts of the Plan For Academic Enrichment to support the faculty and students in a way we have been trying to do for sometime," Spies said.  

And Maiorisi said, at this point in the game, even amidst the immense building activity taking place on campus "we're looking at the next phase of planning, the next capital plans.

An earlier version of this article stated that the Aquatics and Fitness Center will be completed in January 2011. In fact, it will be completed in January 2012. 



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