July 21, 2018 | ° F

U. confirms progress of lot 8 construction

According to Antonio Calcado, vice president of University Facilities and Capital Planning, all capital projects on the New Brunswick, Newark and Camden campuses along with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences are progressing on schedule and should continue to operate smoothly.

“We are hitting the milestones that we have anticipated hitting ... We’re pretty happy with our progress. We’re pretty happy with where we are going,” Calcado said.

The University released a Status of Significant Projects document on Dec. 3 and plans to update this document in February. The document stated that university-wide, these projects should cost a total of $758.5 million.

Calcado said no significant projects should be completed by the end of the semester, and most of the projects should be opening September 2015. According to the document, Rutgers anticipates the redevelopment on the College Avenue campus to be completed by the summer of 2016.

The New Brunswick Development Corporation, a partner of the College Avenue Redevelopment Initiative, is currently focused on constructing the New Brunswick Theological Seminary’s new seminary building.

Once the new seminary building is completed, the old seminary building at 17 Seminary Pl. should be demolished, Calcado said. This should make way for the construction of an academic building for the School of Arts and Sciences, which the University hopes to commence by the end of the year.

Developers have already begun pouring the foundation for the Residential Honors College. Calcado said the steel framework for the building should be erected by the Fall 2015 semester.

To begin construction for a student apartment complex, Rutgers forced the famed grease trucks to relocate from their 20-year home on lot 8 in August. Considering how the trucks have seen significant revenue losses since moving, the lack of visible progress on the lot has raised some eyebrows.

Yet Calcado said some utilities on the lot needed to be relocated and removed, and the soil had to undergo soil testing, which lasted about three months.

“While it’s not gangbusters, there has been work going on the lot,” he said.

Rutgers recently demolished lot 8’s Career Services building, and Career Services’ College Avenue office has been relocated to the fourth floor of the Gateway Transit Village on Somerset Street. With the building removed, Calcado said the University community should notice more visible activity on the lot within the next few weeks.

“You’ll see that property be torn up, and we’ll start to dig up the salvations for that property,” he said.

According to the Status of Significant Projects document, renovation of College Avenue’s Bishop Quad Residence Halls, comprised of Hegeman, Wessels, Leupp and Pell Halls, should be completed by Spring 2015. Since the residence halls were built in the 1920s, the University needed to upgrade them to current building codes.

The Wright Rieman Chemistry and Chemical Biology Building on Busch campus is currently in the designing phase and should be completed by Fall 2016, according to the document.

On Cook campus, the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health is currently being constructed and should be completed by Summer 2015, Calcado said. The University continues to move forward in its plans to construct parking spaces on a portion of Skelly Field.

According to the document, projects on Livingston campus were reported to be 98 percent completed, and their full completion was anticipated for winter 2013. Yet Calcado said the Rutgers Business School building still needs work on its infrastructure, and the campus remains to be 98 percent complete.

Calcado does not anticipate any other delays despite this winter’s extreme weather conditions.

“Snow storms don’t help when you’re trying to pour concrete, so that could be a potential problem. ... Construction’s pretty sophisticated now, so there’s lots of ways to get around weather-related issues,” he said. “We built in some additional time into the schedule to account for any delays of that nature.”

By Alex Meier

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