With in-person classes canceled this Summer and much of the country in some state of lockdown, you might assume you didn’t miss much on campus the past few months.
But you’d be wrong.
Campus was buzzing with activity, albeit primarily at six construction sites and two demolitions, where plentiful amounts of space allowed contractors to safely continue projects while physically distancing.
Check out what you missed.
Okay. You may not have missed this one. We posted updates on social media and online and they pretty much went viral among our alumni.
The outdated LaFollette is coming down to make room for the fantastic North Residential Neighborhood.
LaFollette opened in 1967 and housed 1,900 students at a time. The University needed a massive new housing facility to accommodate the surge in enrollment that resulted from the Baby Boom generation aging into college.
Demolition is taking place in phases It started in 2017 with the razing of Woody/Shales Hall and some of Mysch/Hurst. This Spring, demolition began on everything but Brayton/Clevenger Hall.
New North Dining Hall Opens
Part of the reason LaFollette came down was to make room for the state-of-the-art North Dining hall.
The 65,000-square-foot North Dining facility is now the University’s premier dining location. It will serve everything from down-home barbecue to artisanal pastries, and it includes a Starbucks, too.
Construction began in Summer 2019 and wrapped up in Summer 2020. It opened this Fall semester and is sure to be popular.
New North Residence Hall Opens
The new North Residence Hall opened this Fall just east of Botsford-Swinford Hall.
It houses about 500 students and is the home for the new STEM Living Learning Community for students in 22 majors ranging from biology to technology and engineering education.
The residence hall is part of the new North Residential Neighborhood that is replacing LaFollette.
Progress on Residence Hall 2
Also in the North Residential Neighborhood, construction crews are making progress on what is being called, for now, Residence Hall 2.
Residence Hall 2 is located on the footprint of the former Carmichael Hall. The University demolished Carmichael in 2019 to make room.
Residence Hall 2 is expected to open at the start of the 2021-2022 academic year and will be home to the Education Living-Learning Community. Like the North Residence Hall, it will have 500 beds.
Progress on the Foundational Sciences Building
Construction on the new Foundational Sciences Building changed the University skyline this Summer. It is located on what will become the new East Quad, a shared space with the Health Professions Building, which opened in 2019.
The University broke ground on the 208,000-square-foot Foundational Sciences Building in September 2019 and expects it to open in Summer 2021. The new $87.5 million, five-story structure will be the home of the chemistry and biology departments and is part of a plan to replace the aging Cooper Science Complex.
Progress on the Multicultural Center
The University broke ground on the new Multicultural Center in October 2019 and construction crews made significant progress this Summer.
The new building will be 10,500 square feet in the heart of campus, near Bracken Library and Pruis Hall. The center will provide services closer to where students live and study, and it will feature amenities designed to assist and support all students and to promote diversity and inclusion.
The new center will replace the current facility, a former house southeast of the Student Center. The 4,000-square-foot building was constructed in 1934 and became the Special Programs House in the early 1970s to serve African-American students.
Parking Garage Swap
The University demolished the old Emens Parking Garage this Summer and added another new garage to the east along New York Avenue just south of the Studebaker Complex.
Where the Emens garage stood will become a grand lawn. That grand lawn will eventually become part of the planned East Mall, a long stretch of north-south green space that provides a place for recreation and serves as a corridor for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.