In the May 27, issue of The University of Chicago Chronicle, we introduced Quadcolloquy.edu, a new, occasional feature in which we ask faculty or administrators to address questions of general interest. In this issue, Meredith Mack, Director of Facilities Services, addresses issues related to campus improvements, such as parking. If you have a question you think may be of general interest to the community, please send it via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will consider it for publication.
1. Everyone has seen the new lawn on the Main Quadrangle, but there certainly are many more construction projects happening that will take longer to complete. During all this construction, what do you think will most affect our daily lives on campus?
A: Anyone who has experienced construction in his or her home or office knows how exciting it can be. Of course, it can also be disruptive. We have structured our construction schedules to minimize as much as possible any disruption on campus, and we are committed to letting everyone know ahead of time where and how disruptions may occur. For example, most directly, some people will have their monthly parking spots reassigned as we close the Ellis, Regenstein and Stagg lots. We will send letters to the individuals whose parking spots will be temporarily reassigned. Others may have to change their patterns for getting around campus. For instance, once we start construction of the new residence halls, we wont be able to walk or drive through the block east of Regenstein. Throughout the projects, we all feel the energetic buzz that new facilities createmany of us, from our students to our project managers, get to work with world-class architects, or we might see the first floor of a new building go up. Thats exciting, but it does not negate the fact that some of these changes may alter our daily patterns.
2. You mention the Ellis parking lot will close. As additional lots close, whats going to happen to the limited number of parking spaces in the campus area?
A: We will never go below the number of spots we have now. Making sure we have enough parking near campus is crucial, which is why we are building the parking structure early in the construction schedule. When the new parking structure opens next year, we will gain more than 700 additional parking spaces. In the meantime, the overall number of parking spots will not change, because as we close some lots during construction, we will increase the size of others. We already have expanded the Stagg and Lexington lots so there will be room to reassign people from Ellis (next month) and Regenstein (next spring) as we start construction by those lots.
3. You said you will inform the campus community about changes on campus. How will you let people know if they are going to be affected by a campus improvement project? If members of the community on campus or in Hyde Park have questions or concerns, whom should they contact?
A. We want our community informed about our day-to-day construction activities as well as the exciting news about building openingsso we will regularly update the Chronicle and the student newspapers of our plans in addition to updating construction plans on our University Web page at http://www.uchicago.edu/docs/mp-site/construction. When we need to announce something immediately, we will distribute flyers in the appropriate areas. If we miss a particular question, there is always the phone. Facilities Services can be reached at (773) 702-1700. We also want to encourage those interested in the projects to attend the community meetings about our plans, such as the Monday, Nov. 22 community workshop about the Midway.
4. New and improved facilities are good for the campus community, of course, but some of the projects will not be completed for several years. Will we see any benefits to the construction before then?
A: Yes, we will enjoy some of the benefits before then, absolutely! We all will be able to enjoy the new entrance to the Main Quadrangle at 58th Street by the end of next summer. The new skating rink and warming house on the Midway will be done by November 2000. And the parking structure will be finished by December 2000.