Campus construction remains on schedule
As construction on the Danforth Campus continued to progress over the summer and into the fall semester, efforts have been taken to make maneuvering the campus easier for students, faculty and visitors as the renovations continue on schedule.
Over the summer, the path allowing students to walk east to west on campus was opened up after being closed due to the construction site between Louderman Hall and Cupples II Hall. Previously, getting to class in the area posed a challenge for many students who had to travel across campus in a short period of time.
“The construction has definitely been a bigger part of my daily life that I thought it would be,” Gabi Restrepo, a sophomore in the Sam Fox School, said. “Seeing it every day, when I get to Sam Fox, has been a downer.”
Olin Library is one of the most central construction sites, and area will be shifting after fall break. When students return from the break, they will now enter through the north side of Olin Library, and the south entrance will be closed, according to Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning and Management JD Long. By the start of 2018, both doors will be open and students will be able to completely walk through the library, from north to south.
Interior work on Olin Library will continue into the fall and winter, including Whispers Cafe, which has been temporarily closed since the project began last year. Though the lack of a cafe in Olin Library has been inconvenient, Associate Vice Chancellor and University Architect James Kolker believes the changes being made will benefit students once completed.
“Whispers will have more seating and different levels with different places to sit and study. We hope the renovations will build on the success of Whispers and make it even a better place,” Kolker said.
Olin Library is soon to be home to other renovations, such as a glass tower with exhibits celebrating the important historical and present members of the Washington University community. It will also contain study rooms and conference rooms. Another feature will be Risa’s Landing, named in honor of Chancellor Mark Wrighton’s wife, which will create a space with tabletops on the second floor of the tower.
“It will be a really interesting celebration of some important members of the community and also a great place to study,” Kolker said.
In addition to the Olin Library construction, Bryan Hall is soon to be home to a new chemistry lab and a renovated interior. The building is projected to be ready for new chemistry researchers to move in by the end of the year.
“There is still work to do here, but in general Bryan Hall and Millstone Plaza [are] right on target,” Kolker said.
The space near Bryan Hall and Millstone Plaza, a popular entrance to campus via the Overpass, is currently wider, brighter and more open due to recent construction.
“We hope that the new gateway at Bryan Hall and Millstone Plaza will continue to become even better as a gateway to the campus,” Kolker said.
Though the construction has taken over large areas of campus, Restrepo is optimistic about the final result come spring 2018.
“Overall, the construction is annoying and inconvenient, but I am hoping it will all be worth the wait,” Restrepo said.