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Endless construction continues to frustrate

Wider roads, new dorms and underground heating systems designed to improve campus are also causing some frustration due to the seemingly never-ending construction.

One improvement was an increase in pedestrian safety on campus through a $22.5 million construction project on 17th and Woodruff Avenues.

“The flush curbs on 17th give you more access around the site,” said Thomas Ekegren, project manager of Facilities Operations and Development. “The narrower road of Woodruff is less of a width for a pedestrian to cross. It’s going to slow speeds down by design. You’re almost forced to drive slower.”

Woodruff and 17th opened Sept. 18 for student move-in and buses resumed full service to the streets Sept. 19.

Some students are upset with the amount of construction on campus. Blaine McKinney, a fourth-year in psychology, said a lot of the construction on campus was “unnecessary.”

“I think some of the construction is unnecessary but some of it seems to be helping,” McKinney said. “I really don’t know what they’re doing on 18th. It’s been closed for like 6 months and I have no idea what’s going on.”

But Ashley Yassall, a third-year in actuarial science, said that the construction was good.

“It’s nice to see that Ohio State is doing lots of improvements around campus construction-wise,” Yassall said. “I think it’s great that we’re trying to improve for a rising population of students.”

Stacie Weber, a third-year in molecular genetics, agreed with the importance of the construction, but understands the frustration.

“I think it’s very important to update the campus and to be prepared for the big population coming in,” Weber said. “It can be frustrating at times to get through campus with a road closed or not being able to walk on the sidewalk.”

Despite the completion of many construction projects on campus, FOD has no intention of slowing down construction once the academic year begins.

Scott Conlon, director of projects at FOD, said the $51.1 million construction of a campus residence hall on 10th Avenue will continue throughout the academic year. The new dorm will hold 533 total beds and is set to open for the first semester next year.

The $171.6 million reconstruction of Park and Stradley Halls will continue the rest of this year. The halls also set to re-open for the first semester of 2012, Conlon said.

“It’s going to be much different,” Conlon said. “If you’ve walked by recently, you can pretty much see what it’s going to look like.”

The construction of a geothermal system on the South Oval that will provide water heating and cooling to the reconstructed south campus dorms will continue during the next two years. The project is currently on schedule and will be completed by the first semester of 2013, said Ken Wayman, senior director for design and construction.

“(The geothermal system) is completely underneath the surface, that’s why we use a green space. It actually preserves that green space because you can’t build on top of the geothermal,” Wayman said. “It’s guaranteed the South Oval will stay there for 50 years or so.”

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