Landscaping last touch after major summer constructionBy Peter Schuler
As the Autumn Quarter is about to begin, the University’s Facilities Services Department has completed some of the most significant infrastructure construction projects in years on the Main Quadrangle and surrounding campus sites, which began just after most students left campus for the summer in mid-June.
As the fencing comes down around the Main Quad, crews are working to restore the landscaping on these sites.
“We completed our work right on schedule, which I credit to excellent planning and execution by many people, including Senior Project Manager Jim Passolano, who supervised the various contractors on the jobs,” said Bob Holliday, Director of Project Management for Facilities Services.
The Main Quad projects, which totaled $6 million in contracts, included extensive repairs and additions to steam and chilled water lines, as well as a total renovation of the electrical vault under Rockefeller Chapel, which provides electricity to the central section of the campus.
The chilled lines will eventually connect to a centralized chiller plant that is still in the planning phase. One site being considered for the plant is on the South Side of the Midway Plaisance.
“The 2,300-volt electrical systems were more than 80 years old; we now need 12,000 volts,” Passolano explained. In addition to the vault, there were electrical upgrades at both the Oriental Institute and in the President’s home, and the Administration Building received a facelift to restore its exterior and lobby to their original states.
Although crews dug many deep holes, there were no significant finds of urban archeology. “The most interesting item we discovered was an unopened bottle of Lee and Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce,” Passolano said.
One benefit, however, was finding “lost” utility connections, like storm sewers that were closed off years ago.