Construction crews made vast progress on infrastructural renewals over winter break and expect to move their work area northward from the Arbor toward Ellison Hall within a month.

Phase 1 of UCSB’s Infrastructure Renewal Project commenced in September and is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2013. Currently, Phase 1A focuses on storm drain renovation near the Arbor, Davidson Library corridor, Music building, Campbell Hall and Girvetz Hall. Installation of storm drain piping between Woodstock’s Pizza and the north library corridor was completed over winter break.

According to Project Manager Frank Castanha, a university representative from Design and Construction Services, portions of Phase 1A will expand throughout campus until the end of spring. Construction along the northeast corner of the Music building is scheduled to end in late February, while renovations near the Davidson Library corridor are set to continue until the end of Winter Quarter.
“In approximately one month the construction will continue from the Arbor towards Ellison Hall working northward up to Campbell Hall where this phase of the infrastructure construction will be complete by June 2011,” Castanha said.

According to senior associate vice chancellor of administrative services and campus architect Marc Fisher, additional aspects of the project will include a lawn expansion east of the Arbor and a rain garden — complete with a bioswale to filter rainwater — east of Girvetz Hall.

Throughout the rest of the quarter, portions of campus will be periodically closed.

Assistant University Librarian Brian Mathews said although a blocked walkway between the Arts Library and Davidson Library is an inconvenience, the library appears as crowded as ever. Fisher said work projects are designed to keep the university operating as they complete upgrades.

“I want to personally thank everyone for their patience during this process,” Fisher said.

Various initiatives — including temporary bike paths and pedestrian walkway detours — have been implemented to ease congestion.

Fisher said the next step is to install permeable pavers near the UCen, Arbor and north library corridor.

“This system of pavement will greatly reduce the quantity of storm water leaving the campus and should reduce potential pollution in the lagoon and the ocean,” Fisher said.

Castanha said infrastructure renovations are advancing smoothly without major setbacks. There was one blip in progress Nov. 12 when a contractor’s excavator caught fire. However, the fire was quickly contained and only required an afternoon to clean up.

UCSB’s current infrastructure renewals will allow the university to house an additional 5,000 undergraduate students by 2025, as called for by the university’s Long Range Development Plan.

—Staff Report