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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

'Tis the season . . . for construction

Popping up alongside the tulips this spring are orange cones and backhoes as River Campus construction gets into full swing. Facilities and Services and the Office of Planning and Project Management (PPM) are as busy as ever overseeing several projects, many of which will continue well into summer and fall.

One of the most visible projects is cogeneration--also known as cogen--the University's upgrade to its current utility plant that will enable the simultaneous production of the electricity and steam used to heat and cool River Campus and Medical Center buildings. Scheduled for completion in 2006, the project includes both underground and interior pipe installation as well as new construction at Central Utilities. Exterior piping work currently affects Elmwood Avenue near the intersection of Kendrick and Elmwood, the area near Hutchison Hall and Hopeman Hall, and the south side of Meliora Hall. At many of these sites, road and sidewalk closures are possible. Detour information will be posted.

Interior pipe installation also continues in several River Campus buildings, including Hutchison and Hylan Halls as well as Susan B. Anthony Halls. Utility disruptions and shutdowns, along with increased noise, can be expected.

Cogen work is likely to continue through the summer, affecting areas on the west side of the River Campus, including student residential buildings and houses on the Fraternity Quad. To receive regular updates on the project and related shutdown notifications, sign up for the Cogen listserv at www.facilities.rochester.edu/cogeneration.

Another long-term project affecting the River Campus is the construction of the new Biomedical Engineering and Biomedical Optics Building that will adjoin the Wilmot Building. Work begins this month and will continue into 2006. Wayne Goodwin, director of River Campus PPM, says while some parking and nearby sidewalk areas will be closed, new pedestrian routes are being established, including handicap access from sidewalks.

"Those inconvenient elements associated with construction--shutdowns, traffic impediments, and noise--are inevitable, but we are doing all we can to minimize the impact to those who study and work at the University," says Goodwin. "We just ask that people bear with us and remember that the work we do will create better spaces for faculty, students, and staff to use and enjoy."

Goodwin says other projects planned for the summer include renovation of the stairs between Rush Rhees Library and Meliora to create a new handicap-access ramp to the Eastman Quad. The front entrance to Strong Auditorium also will be upgraded and new stairs installed. Interior projects scheduled include installation of a new wood floor in the Palestra, renovation of the Reserve Reading Room in Rush Rhees Library, equipment upgrades for the elevator in Gavett Hall, and treading and painting of the main circular stairs in Wilson Commons, in addition to other general maintenance jobs across campus.

To receive updates on projects, shutdowns, and other emergencies, sign up for the Facilities and Services listserv by visiting www.facilities.rochester.edu/notifications.html. Those with questions or concerns about these and other projects can call the Facilities Customer Service Center at x3-4567.



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