With the first major summer completed at Sellery Hall, the construction is really taking shape. This project started about 2 ½ years ago when we kicked off the design phase, and now, we have completed about 95% of the final building structure. The new connecting link is structurally complete and is almost completely enclosed, which is always a major construction milestone. All this work was completed while we were working through the evolving and ever-changing pandemic environment, which even included a two-week stoppage when we shut down construction while the building was quarantined. This summer was our first chance to get into the resident rooms, and we did not shy away from getting some great work completed. We installed new windows in every resident room which will provide an improved noise reduction from the outside world.
On the 9th and 10th floor, we were able to complete a lot of the new finishes in these resident room spaces. These improvements include new carpeting, painting, room doors, and light fixtures. We also installed some mechanical systems, which won’t be completed until August 2022, but these pipe risers and ductwork will provide us a significant time savings when we get to future phases of construction. The 9th and 10th floor will receive the new individualized HVAC setup next summer.
We have learned a lot from Witte, and in the commercial construction world, folks rarely get a chance to build the same project twice. While there are some differences between Witte and Sellery, we have a lot of returning contractors, and we are really making good progress. While the structure is complete, we will be installing all the other components in the construction spaces over the next academic year. The 11th floor room walls, doors, mechanicals, center link bathroom build out, and basement spaces are just a few items we will completing.
Campus also started a utility replacement project about 5 weeks ago. This replacement project has lots of dovetails to the Sellery project because of its proximity and restoration plans. This project is replacing about three blocks worth of steam lines. The current area is blocking East Campus Mall and pedestrian traffic is being re-routed one block east or west at that juncture. The goal would be to open at least part of East Campus Mall by the start of 2nd semester. This project will likely continue into the later part of 2022.
While we know multiyear renovation projects are a major undertaking, this would not be possible without all the teamwork from the various departments in University Housing. For that reason, we would like to thank you for your support, encouragement, and determination as we continue to forge ahead on this project together.
Submitted by Adam Rittel