Road and walkway construction projects designed to enhance safety and movement around the University of Guelph campus are expected to be completed before students return in September, and two facilities construction projects are slated for longer-term completion.
A redesign of South Ring Road, repairs to Dundas Lane and renovations on Winegard Walk will be completed by the end of August. Repurposing of Macdonald Hall and construction of a new athletics facility will be completed in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Don O’Leary, vice-president (administration and finance), said the road work projects are necessary for safety and basic maintenance.
“In each case, the road conditions had become unsafe for vehicles and pedestrians,” he said.
“We had actually postponed the repairs for a number of years, but had reached the point where we needed to fix the roads and the walkway. Doing these fixes also provided the opportunity to do redesigns, especially for the roadways, that will have long-term benefits for the University.”
Widening the main south entrance and installing a sidewalk on South Ring Road at Gordon Street will accommodate more and safer transit. The city is also contributing by installing new traffic lights at this intersection. Repairs to South Ring Road on both sides of Gordon Street are expected to be completed by mid-August.
Funding for this $3.3-million project is coming from the parking and transportation capital budget. As an ancillary operation, monies generated from the sale of parking permits and other transportation-related revenues, the funds raised can only be used to cover expenses in this specific budget area.
The parking and transportation fund is also being used for a $900,000 repair to Dundas Lane, which connects College Avenue and East Ring Road. “The roadway had deteriorated significantly in recent years and desperately needed repairs,” said O’Leary.
Repairs to Winegard Walk between the University Centre and Thornbrough Building – the first major repair since the 1970s — will improve drainage and replace worn bricks. The $564,000 project is also funded by the parking and transportation ancillary fund and will be completed before September.
Macdonald Hall will be renovated by September 2015 to become the permanent home of the College of Business and Economics and will bring together a number of CBE departments. The $10-million project is funded by CBE donors and reserve funds and by the University’s capital budget, which supports investment intophysical assets critical to supporting U of G’s mission.
The $45-million athletics centre expansion will be completed by September 2016. The project is funded by donors, athletics department reserves and the University of Guelph’s capital budget. A specific student athletics capital fee will be used to repay the financing incurred for the expansion.
Minor painting and plaster repairs to Zavitz Hall will be completed before classes resume.