Saturday, February 7, 2004

UC is a hard-hat zone as projects near finish

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS - The joke at University of Cincinnati has been that UC stands for "under construction," but school officials say substantial progress has been made on campus projects.

"We are going to reach two landmarks in the transformation of campus this year," said UC spokesman Greg Hand.

"First, with the reopening of Tangeman University Center and the Student Life Building, student services and organizations will move onto Main Street (this spring) and out of temporary quarters.

"Second, the completion of the Calhoun Street garage will provide a foundation for the Calhoun Street Market Place development by the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation, building a bridge from the campus into the neighborhood."

Construction efforts are part of UC's master plan. Created in 1989, the plan calls for more green space, classrooms and research labs, as well as centralizing student services.

Here are highlights of progress and plans:

• The $47 million renovation and expansion of Tangeman University Center began in early 2001. The cupola now sits on a glass-like roof, creating a skylight over a three-story atrium that will hold a 700-seat food court. The facility will also accommodate a movie theater, game lounge, meeting spaces and 24-hour banking. The campus bookstore opened in the center's southern end in March 2003, followed by Tangeman's Great Hall over the summer. The north wing renovation is scheduled for completion this spring.

• Major construction of the grandstands in UC's new baseball stadium is nearly finished, and the press box is almost enclosed, paving the way for the facility to be open in time for the 2004 season. The stadium is the first phase of the $109 million Richard E. Lindner Varsity Village athletic facilities project. The centerpiece of the project will be a 236,000-square-foot athletic center with eight levels.

.• Van Wormer Library will receive its first major renovation since 1930, beginning in April. Plans include an update of the building's mechanical, plumbing, electrical and other systems to meet building codes. The exterior will be restored, and the roof will be replaced with a glass dome. Building reoccupation: August 2005.

• The $40 million Calhoun Street garage project, located between Calhoun Hall and Dennis Street, will provide 1,000 parking spots as well as space for the university band, facilities management offices and the school's ROTC. The garage is scheduled to be completed in January 2005.


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