From Lowell Bromander, Associate Vice President for Facilities Services

I want to inform you that today, March 1, 2011, we will begin preparing the University Center construction site on the corner of Snelling and Englewood Avenues. The snow will be removed, fences will go up, and construction offices will be established on site. The contractors will also begin surveying and marking the grounds.

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During this early phase of construction, the asphalt path on the west end of Sorin Hall that leads into campus from Englewood Avenue will be permanently closed. Additionally, the sidewalk on the north side of Englewood from Snelling Avenue to Sorin Halll will be blocked off and will remain blocked off throughout the duration of the construction project.

Englewood Avenue will remain open, although there may be some traffic congestion due to the construction vehicles.

We have relocated twelve trees thus far to make space for the University Center. For the remaining trees that must be removed, we are working with a conservation group, Wood for the Hood, to determine how we can recycle or utilize the wood from the trees for furniture, trim, or other aspects of the University Center and other projects on campus.

We anticipate that by mid-March the excavation of the construction site will commence. This means removal of top soil, shoring up the west edge of the site, and digging. We expect this to take about six weeks. The Snelling Avenue sidewalk adjacent to the site will be closed for a portion of the excavation. There will also be heavy truck traffic in the area at that time, because of the soil removal.

Once it is safe to do so, the Snelling Avenue sidewalk adjacent to the site will be reopened for pedestrian traffic, though it may be temporarily closed again at various times throughout the project.

Construction work will take place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., whenever possible. We do not anticipate any late evening, overnight, or weekend construction at this time. There will, of course, be some noise related to the construction, particularly during one week in which the construction crews will be pile driving for the shoring of the west edge of the site. We have attempted to make the timing of that as nondisruptive as possible by tentatively scheduling it to happen during spring break week, as we know that many people will be away from campus during this time. Facilities Services staff has also met with leadership team members in Robbins Science and Sorin Hall to talk through any concerns.

Thank you for your support as we work to create this exciting new learning and gathering space on campus. Please let me know if you have any questions.