Every morning of the week, construction worker Tom Jaskolski arrives at the Lone Mountain site at 8 a.m. and remains there until he packs up at around 4:30 p.m. He knows that while he works, some of the students walking past, just beyong the green fence lining Turk Street, are the future beneficiaries of the new dorms he and his coworkers are creating.
The physical work on the new dorms began on July 25, by Devcon Construction. Jaskolski said that, while the start of the construction has been slow, throughout the next couple of weeks, the team will be getting in the “full swing of things.”
“We are getting to the point where we are going to start hauling off the rest of the trees for excavation,” Jaskolski said. “Then we are going to start doing what they call ‘shoring.’ Since we are on a hillside, we have to shore up the walls. There’s going to be two big holes here and 6,000 truck loads of dirt coming out of here.”
According to Michael London, the assistant vice president of facilities management, the residence hall and its underground parking garage will be completed by fall 2020.
With the start of the construction, Facilities Management has started to address concerns regarding noise and parking.
“We have employed significant mitigation measures to [minimize] the campus impact during this work, i.e. fencing, noise minimization, off-site parking for workers, accelerated schedule etc.,” London explained in an email. “Of course, as you no doubt know, construction is a process that necessarily involves noise, dust, traffic, etc. We are working hard to minimize that disruption that is inherent in the process.”
Until August 2020, the Loyola Parking Lot, Lone Mountain Drive, east of the Loyola House driveway entrance, the pedestrian pathway from Loyola Village to Turk Boulevard and the Underhill Tennis Courts will be closed due to the project. Students and faculty have made Public Safety aware of their apprehension about parking issues related to this new construction.
Operations Manager for Public Safety Staci Hoell said that due to the construction, 150 parking spaces will be temporarily unavailable.
“There’s definitely a concern about parking from everyone,” Hoell said. “Definitely amongst faculty and staff there’s concern, but everyone has been very understanding that this is something that is going to be better for the University.”
Hoell explained that after the project is complete in two years, not only will the 150 parking spots that were lost be restored, there will also be a net gain of 78 additional parking spots with the new underground parking garage.
In the meantime, Public Safety has been advocating for different means of travel.
“We are really pushing for and encouraging more people to do alternative transportation, to telecommute if they are able to, work from home if they are able to,” Hoell said. “We have a discounted carpool permit, so that’s been our main focus to try and match people up with that.”
In addition to the construction of the residence hall, London announced two separate construction plans coming up. They include the renovation of the Sobrato Center at War Memorial Gymnasium, which will begin spring 2019, and the expansion of the Wolf and Kettle cafeteria on Lone Mountain, which will begin summer 2019.
Facilities Management sent out a press release on June 20 notifying USF summer-term students and faculty of the upcoming construction plans and what parking lots and pedestrian pathways will be unavailable. The group also assembled and published a page on myUSF with additional information and updates. The new residence hall will hold up to 600 beds for students looking to live on campus.
The Foghorn reported on the details of the project last spring.