Clemson’s main campus has experienced big changes in just a few short months. Some construction projects have been completed, while others remain on target for their scheduled completion dates. Here are updates on some of the initiatives happening above and beneath the ground.
The $75 million upgrade of 1950s underground utilities impacting Clemson’s main campus around Walter T. Cox Boulevard (Hwy.93) this summer is winding down.
The redesigned intersection, which combines safety, convenience and connectivity with the new College of Business building, opened Aug. 2. The speed bumps that once straddled Walter T. Cox Boulevard (Hwy. 93) at the Calhoun Drive intersection have been replaced by a vehicle friendly elevated speed table, which is raised four inches above street level with approach ramps on all three sides. The speed table features a colored concrete interior walking/driving surface, with grey bands of concrete that border each side. Project manager Paul Borick says the speed table contributes to pedestrian safety and when fully complete next spring, provides a natural connection for the new business building, Douthit Hills, main campus, Bowman Field and Sikes Hall.
“When you’re driving down Walter T. Cox Boulevard (Hwy. 93), you can see the color of the speed table from a distance which acts a visual cue for drivers to know the roadway is different.” he explained. “The pedestrian crossing has a traffic signal light that functions like the light at the Cherry Road intersection, meaning that when someone presses the button, all traffic will stop to allow pedestrians to cross in all directions.”
Borick said that the speed table was made to look like an extension of the plaza in front of the new business school building. The table also includes bollards and brick piers similar to the plaza at the Scroll of Honor Memorial Park and Howard’s Rock which will also act as visual cues for drivers to slow down and provide protection for pedestrians on the adjacent sidewalk.
“It’s meant to make this all feel like one open plaza between Sikes Hall and the new business school,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like you’re in a roadway. It will be much more pedestrian friendly.”
While the intersection has opened to vehicular traffic, Borick said that that drivers should remain cautious since landscaping is still ongoing along the sides of the road and pedestrian traffic will be limited. Because of the ongoing construction, workers will need a little more time to complete the landscaping and set pavers and sidewalks.
“Because of this intersection reconfiguration, Bowman field has actually been expanded,” said Borick. “The unsafe triangle intersection road that used to connect Hwy. 93 to Calhoun Drive at Bowman has been removed, and sod is being installed in its place. We’re calling it ‘mini-Bowman,’” he joked.
The $87.5 million 176,000 square-foot project is about 60 percent complete. The structure includes a South and a North Tower, divided by a connector walkway that runs from Douthit Hills, though the business building to Walter T. Cox Boulevard (Hwy. 93). The connector walkway leads into a grand set of outdoor stairs, which will offer three landing areas. Over the next several months, workers will finish drywall, finalize the mechanical infrastructure, and continue installing the brick on both towers, according to project manager Paul Borick. Precast concrete will be installed as part of the connector stairs. The project is slated to be completed in the spring with move-in beginning in May 2020.
The long-awaited child development center broke ground in February. Construction contractors continue to focus on the foundation work, including leveling the ground, installing underground utilities, as well as fire-, water- and natural-gas lines and electrical distribution systems. As the site work is being completed, the design team is putting the finishing touches to the building design.
When completed, the building will accommodate 132 children and 20 employees and will be operated by a third-party vendor.
Project manager Sam Zanca said his team expects to receive the final required building construction permits soon, at that time they will start construction on the building. The project is expected to be completed in Jan 2020.
IPTAY Expansion and renovation
An additional 8,000 square feet is being added to the IPTAY building, located next to the West End Zone in Memorial Stadium. When completed, the 29,000 square-foot structure will offer three floors of much-needed space. The $10 million project is being funded by donors and private gifts to Athletics.
Project manager Kevin McDonough said the work is about 80 percent finished, with drywall hung and electrical, mechanical and plumbing infrastructure in place. He added that the once two-floor structure now has an added floor, with a large board room, multipurpose room and a patio that overlooks Memorial stadium.
The project began in Dec. 2018 and is slated to be completed in November.
The 18,000 square-foot facility, which is the result of $2.4 million gift from Dave and Lynette Snow, now has a second floor which includes a 2,000 square-foot classroom that can be divided into two sections, with panoramic views of Lake Hartwell. The room has special flooring that can be used for fitness classes, but the space can also be used across academic disciplines.
“For example, Pat Layton of the Wood Utilization + Design Institute might want to bring engineering students, whose creative inquiry teams were instrumental in the use of the floor and ceiling materials,” said Chris Fiocchi, senior director of Campus Recreation.
The classroom leads to an outdoor deck overlooking Lake Hartwell, which provides yet more space for small classes and collaboration. The areas are separated by a garage-like door, which allows open access to both areas. “It’s like bringing the outside indoors,” Fiocchi added.
Fiocchi said that on the first floor, the mechanical infrastructure is currently being installed and drywall on the first floor will be hung and glass panels added in the coming weeks. Once completed, the first floor will offer a trip resource center, a kitchen prep area, a bike repair shop and more. This area connects to a 5,000 square-foot room that will house rental kayaks, paddleboards and other rental equipment. The project is slated to be completed in the mid- to late- fall semester.