Construction at U of A: What's finished, what will continue

Construction at U of A: What's finished, what will continue

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It's been a busy summer at the University of Arizona as construction crews work on renovations and new buildings on campus.

Some of those renovations will be complete by the time the Wildcats head back to the classroom next week, but other projects on campus are going to continue throughout the school year.

During the summer break the U of A has been working on projects that have a higher impact, the university says, and projects that are smaller. Those smaller projects include paving, work in the university parking lots, and smaller remodel projects.

Some area residents have expressed frustration over the traffic that road construction near the university campus has caused. But that is not the case for  Amy Pike. She lives a short way from the streetwork that was being done this summer near Euclid Avenue and University Boulevard and she says she couldn't be happier that the construction was happening.

"They did it during the summer. Finally, smart! Instead of doing it during the holidays when we have the largest population here," Pike said.

While the short-term projects have been underway this summer construction crews have also been hard at work on projects across the U of A campus that will extend into the school year, and there's quite a few.

One very notable construction project is the $25 million renovation project at Arizona Stadium. Construction has been underway to add seating, concession areas, and restrooms.

This project is being worked done in phases, according to University of Arizona campus architect Peter Dourlein, and the first phase is set to be complete in time for the U of A's first home game on Sept. 1. The remainder of the work is set to be done by the second home game on Sept. 15.

Along with that, construction crews have been working at both the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center and the Hillenbrand Softball Facility.

At the aquatic center the main pool is being replaced and that is set to be complete by January, according to the university.

In the softball facility, the old stands are being demolished and replaced with new, covered stands. Restrooms and concession stands are also under construction. The U of A says that will be completed by February.

To see live web cameras showing the university's construction click HERE.

It's that sort of construction and change that Pike says she thinks Tucson needs.

"I want to see more growth, more construction, better places to live," she said. "I mean, it's wonderful. It's bringing about good change."

Construction for the new Honors College Village is also underway in the northwest quadrant of university's campus. The village will include Honors housing for over a thousand students along with food service, recreation and health facilities, and parking. The university says that the housing construction is set to be finished by the fall of next year.

Other long-term projects that will run into the upcoming school year at the U of A include work on the Health Sciences Innovation Building, which will be ready for occupancy by January; work in McKale Center to build locker rooms, which is scheduled for completion in September; and the new Indoor Sports Center facility at the corner of Sixth Street and National Championship Drive. The indoor center will provide safe training facilities for football and other sports teams when the Tucson weather is extreme.

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