Summer construction to cause few traffic disruptions on campus

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Photo of a fence and construction sign.

Summer construction projects around campus are not expected to cause many traffic delays.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Work continues on the new residence hall being erected north of the Bernhard Center and on the WMU Alumni Center, but few traffic disruptions are expected this summer due to campus construction.

Motorists will encounter some interruptions at the end of the turnaround in front of the Seibert Administration Building. Workers will be doing site work inside the turnaround in July and August in preparation for installation of a new sculpture, which will be installed in September.

Kalamazoo artist Joshua Diedrich was commissioned to design the piece to celebrate WMU’s history and create a more inviting entry to the pedestrian mall that begins in front of Sangren Hall. The sculpture incorporates a raised, 3-D version of the University seal as well as lighting and a water feature.

West Michigan closure rescheduled

One new summer project will result in traffic detours—the previously announced city of Kalamazoo sewer line work along West Michigan Avenue that was postponed at the end of spring semester because of bad weather.

The project is slated to take place between July 6 and 19. West Michigan, as it runs between the Student Recreation Center on the east and Parking Structure No. 1 and Kalamazoo College's athletic parking on the west, will be totally impenetrable during the work. As a result, access to the Oaklands, Seibert Administration Building and main entrance to the Bernhard Center will only be available by traveling clockwise on the campus ring road and turning right off North Dormitory Road.

The West Michigan and North Dormitory intersection will remain open, and vehicles will be allowed to enter as well as exit the parking structure from North Dormitory across from Ellsworth Hall. The West Michigan and Western Avenue intersection also will remain open during the work.

Other significant construction

U.S. 131 interchange

The Michigan Department of Transportation is rebuilding the I-94 Business Loop (Stadium Drive) from 11th Street to east of Seneca Lane, including the U.S. 131 and Stadium Drive bridge and interchange, through September. For up-to-date information, go to the list of statewide lane closures at michigan.gov/drive or follow MDOT's Southwest Region on Twitter at twitter.com/MDOT_Southwest.

New residence hall

Work on the new residence hall is on schedule and only minimally disrupting foot traffic and parking. The campus community should note that the construction fencing around the building site will be changing periodically this summer as work progresses.

In addition, parking Lot 48 behind Bernhard, now closed due to the project, will not reopen. In the future, parking will be available nearby in a new lot that will be created, as well as in the existing Sangren Hall lot and Parking Structure No. 1.

Sindecuse Health Center parking lot work

Starting July 14 and continuing through the month, Lot 40, which is south of Sindecuse Health Center, will be resurfaced. Access to the gated patient parking area, patient drop-off and pharmacy drive-up window will be monitored and access allowed when safe.

Parking in Lot 51, north of Sindecuse, will be limited through August. Replacement of a steam line under the lot near the rear entrance of the building leaves just four spots for early morning sports medicine or diagnostic appointments. Employees are urged to park in Lot 41, which is north of Sangren.

WMU Alumni Center

The final significant project this summer, creation of the WMU Alumni Center, should barely be noticeable to most motorists and pedestrians, as it is confined to the East Campus hilltop.

Demolition of North Hall began the week of June 8, but the building’s portico is being retained. The portico will serve as the northern edge of the hilltop site. Abatement work in East Hall was expected to be completed the following week, and the building's two wings removed shortly thereafter.

Then, in July, renovation of the original core structure will begin. Plans call for East Hall to reopen as the Alumni Center in early fall 2015. Lot 1, adjacent to Walwood Hall, will be closed beginning July 21 through Sept. 17. Staff and visitor parking will be available in lots 10, 11 and 12 during the closure.