The construction site on 55 and 65 Campus Avenue will be coming to a finish during the summer of 2016. The Student spoke with Project Manager Chris Streifel to follow up on the updates reported over the summer by Bates News.
“The buildings will open next fall for students and we will be busily moving in all the new furniture,” Streifel said.
The final product will be that of student housing—housing 243 students—and the move of the College Store from Chase Hall and Office Services from Lane Hall. In addition to housing, the 65 Campus Avenue will have a parking lot, which in the meantime will aid the workmen as winter approaches; they will no longer have to work in the mud and will have a proper parking spot.
The excitement the future changes bring should not eclipse the tremendous amount of work that has been put in by Consigli Construction and Streifel who emphasized that “[they] worked hard during the summer to get all the work done that is inside the construction fence.”
When asked if it would be difficult to continue with the students back on campus, he said “we are isolated from the rest of the campus,” thus making it easier for them to avoid worrying about disturbing the students. The construction workers have also been cooperating with the neighbors and communicating with them about possible closures to maintain a good relationship.
In the very near future gas lines will be connected to the buildings, which will create possible closures on Central Avenue and Bardwell Street.
The construction has come a long way since the winter months of 2014 and 2015. During those months the main concerns were the quality of the soil, which could not buttress the building, and the snow, which often slowed the process down because workers spent time removing it. This year’s winter will not facilitate the progress, for “it is harder to do work down the side of the building,” Streifel said. Fortunately, it is not their first winter and they have become accustomed to adapting to environmental changes.
In the course of the construction there were numerous street closures so as to work on the essential storm drainage and make room for pedestrian crossings, for the two campuses will increase pedestrian traffic across campus. It is crucial that the street is renovated to include stop and slow signs. Each of these accomplishments, whether small or large, required a lot of planning and communication; therefore, it is important to celebrate the team’s effort.
The progress for both the 55 and 65 Campus Avenue buildings was a groundbreaking accomplishment when the steel framework for both buildings was beginning to be put in place. Soon after, closer to the end of June, the framework was completed for the 55 Campus Avenue building.
Since the beginning of August, “the biggest changes have occurred on the outside. We see a lot more brick and…looking closely we see a lot more granite base on the bottom,” Streifel said. The point was to make sure that the enclosure was complete with bricks and window installations before the weather brought snow, rain, and wind.
Another important aspect in this construction is the roof. According to Doug Hubley in the Bates News Campus Construction Update for July 31st, the roof “incorporates both gypsum board and oriented-strand board…stick-on films that block infiltration of air and of water in its various states.” Currently there is a large opening in the roof for tools and such to be transferred easily.
The August 28th update reports that the building located on 65 Campus Avenue the construction workers have progressed in “framing out the walls around the building’s ‘core’,” which is where bathrooms, the elevator, and other mechanical rooms are located.
In general, we should be looking forward to “beautiful buildings with great views. The resident lounges are very comfortable, yet very transparent and open,” Streifel said excitedly. Come Fall 2016, Campus Ave will be ready to welcome the Class of 2020.