The fences blocking some of the main quad paths are part of a three-phase, month-and-a-half renovation plan.
With the intention of returning the University to a more historic look, the concrete of the current paths will be replaced with sandstone pavers.
As detailed in a bulletin sent out by Sharon Hall, the project assistant, Phase I will consist of the renovation of: the east-west walkway between the Admin building and the inner circle, the v-shaped walkways leading to Kent and Ryerson, the footpath between Walker and University Avenue, and the angle walkway between the Admin building and the circular drive now under construction.
This phase is scheduled for completion by November 11, 2005. The inner circle of the main quad is to be finished by November 14, and the paths leading to Ryerson, Rosenwald, and Swift by December 16.
Generally speaking, the intent is for all the interior walks through the lawn to be sandstone pavers, and the perimeter walks will be concrete, said Robert Tiberg, director of operations and maintenance at Facilities Services. Various existing concrete sidewalks are being demolished and will be reconstituted with pavers.
One concern for the project is the expectation of weather complications, particularly rain and snow. Hopefully, snow will not be an issue for many weeks to come, Tiberg said, when questioned about the timing of this project.
Aware of the crunch for time, construction teams have been observed working as late as 8 p.m.
During the daytime, some students have recently complained about the increased visibility of construction. Other students take a more forbearing attitude.
If it makes our sidewalks prettier, Im a fan, declared Meredith Shaw, also a second-year in the College.
The renovation of the main quad is one of many recent projects executed by the Universitys Facilities Services. Main campus buildings such as Cobb and Haskell Halls are being renovated; both are currently having their roofs replaced.
These projects are scheduled for completion in June of 2006.
Behind decisions regarding the aesthetics of the campus is the Capital Planning Committee (CPC), staffed by the associate vice president for Facilities Services, the associate provost for planning, and the university budget director.
According to its official mission statement, the CPC is in charge of campus master planning, including its maintenance, alteration, and provision of utilities, while also [maintaining] general policy supervision over such projects.
The Capital Planning Committees largest project is the schematic for construction on the South Campus over the next 15 years. This plan entails the development of University-owned area from 60th to 61st streets between Cottage Grove Avenue and Stony Island Avenue.
Information on current and upcoming projects, as well as advisories regarding construction around campus may be found online at www.uchicago.edu/docs/mp-site/construction.