West Mall entryway, Welch Hall and other construction projects to expect on campus this spring

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West Mall will soon open to larger foot traffic once more as construction comes to a close. "We're estimating project completion by next week, but that's subject to weather," said Tony Guzman, project manager.

Photo Credit: Pedro Luna | Daily Texan Staff

Students can expect the completion of a few ongoing construction projects to make campus easier to navigate this spring.

West Mall entryway construction is in its final stages and will be completed by the end of January. Project manager Tony Guzman said construction on the new entryway began in July 2018 and was set to finish in December, but was delayed by weather conflicts.

“We are about a month behind schedule because of the weather and all the rain that we experienced this fall,” Guzman said. “Because the project involved a major amount of excavation and underground utility work, it was very susceptible to weather impact.”

Over winter break, construction teams poured concrete for the entryway, which was a large step toward completion, Guzman said.

“We are kind of in the last steps of this project right now,” Guzman said. “Planting trees and installing the signage are some of the last big visual steps.”

Chemistry junior Alex Mutammara said he is looking forward to the completed entryway because the current construction causes heavier foot traffic in the West Mall area.

“West Mall has been very busy with construction lately, which makes it difficult to get around sometimes,” Mutammara said. “But I think anything other than the fountain that was there before will be more visually appealing.”

Farther inside campus, construction to replace the roof of the Main Building is ahead of schedule and should be completed later this semester, said Jill Stewart, associate director of project management and construction services. 

Some larger projects continuing this semester include Welch Hall renovations and construction on a new energy engineering building on 24th Street where Woolrich Labs are located, said Jim Shackelford, director of Capital Planning and Construction.

 
 

“Welch Hall is a little over halfway done,” Shackelford said. “Substantial completion, meaning the work is essentially done, is scheduled for next January.”

Along with ongoing construction, the University will see new projects including renovations on campus buildings and athletic facilities.

Construction Services plans to begin work on Anna Hiss Gymnasium behind Burdine Hall, which is not currently used, Stewart said.

“It’s an older building that we are trying to revitalize for more modern growth,” Stewart said. “The south side of the building will house the robotics program for the College of Engineering.”

Construction on an indoor player development facility for the baseball team near UFCU Disch-Falk Field began last fall and will continue this semester. Construction Services also plans to begin work on an outdoor pool area for the swimming and diving teams at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, Stewart said.

Later this spring, construction on the south end zone expansion of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium will begin, Shackelford said.

“It will be after the spring football game when we begin construction there,” Shackelford said. “Construction is expected to completed by the 2021 football season.”

Stewart said construction services will begin more projects after commencement in May.