An $8 million renovation project is set to begin this summer on the steamline loop that provides both heating and hot water to North Campus residence halls.
The loop is about 50 to 70 years old and is in need of replacement, said Larry Hicks, associate director of housing. "Not only has the system degraded, we literally had people waiting up to an hour for hot water," he said.
The project, which will take about 18 months to complete, will be funded by state money the University receives for repairs and replacements to campus facilities.
The project is already in its elementary stages as contractors prepare to begin construction at the beginning of the summer. Workers have begun digging a hole adjacent to Joyner Residence Hall, building ramps to the tennis courts, removing some trees around the courts and constructing a manhole by Mangum Residence Hall.
Director of Housing and Residential Education Christopher Payne said notice to proceed with the construction was given about a week ago. The construction -- and the obstacles it will bring -- raises concern for present and future North Campus residents. But Payne said officials are trying to get the most difficult portions of the project completed during times when there are fewer students on campus.
Residence Hall Association President David Cooper said he plans to address any problems that arise. "I'm meeting with Dr. Payne and a few others on Wednesday," he said. "I have no problem putting out my e-mail address so students can e-mail me."
Rebecca Casey, the housing department's assistant director for marketing, said she shares Cooper's zeal for keeping students informed. Casey said the housing department will post a fact sheet in residence halls before the end of the week that aims to help North Campus residents understand the possible effects of the renovation.
She said the housing department will approach North Campus construction in a similar fashion to the way South Campus construction has been handled this year. "The (resident assistants) have worked with us helping to bring forums together," Casey said. "I'm sure we'll follow the same model."