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Construction continues on campus amid pandemic

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Even without a full student body at Ohio University this semester, construction on three of the largest projects on campus and Uptown are still in progress.

Richland Avenue pedestrian tunnel

The Richland Avenue pedestrian tunnel project opened to limited pedestrian traffic the week of Aug. 31. 

Richland Avenue is expected to reopen to vehicular traffic sometime in late September, according to Robert Heady, Athens director of public works and city engineer.

“There is still work to complete inside the passageway and it may be reduced to half of the width to complete this work,” Heady said. “Masks will be required for employees within the passageway.”

The project — which shut down part of Richland Avenue on Mar. 2 — has gone well, despite minor delays for “design changes for storm sewers, sidewalks and drainage,” Heady said.

The project cost approximately $3.3 million.

New chemistry building construction

A new chemistry building is being erected on South Green near Emeriti Park and Clippinger Laboratories.

The Clippinger Renovation Strategy is broken into three phases of construction.

Brent Buckley, the director of design and construction support services at Ohio U, said Phase 1 encompasses construction of the first two floors of the new building and is “on track for substantial completion on Sept. 30.” 

Phase 2 includes the third floor along with renovation to the east wing of Clippinger Laboratories. Buckley said completion is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2021 on that phase.

Phase 3 comprises of renovations to the current east wing of Clippinger Laboratories and will start May 3, 2021. This phase is expected to finish in June 2022.

The construction budget for the project was $42.6 million for phase 1 and $33.6 million for phase 2.

Some faculty labs are planned to move into the new building by late fall.

Construction also includes a new road, replacing the current roadway between Race Street and South Green Drive.

Buckley said the goal is to eliminate the risk of vehicle-pedestrian interactions around the new chemistry building, and it would include a new public transit stop.

The project, budgeted at $1.87 million, is expected to be completed Nov. 30.

Scripps Hall renovations

Scripps Hall will soon be the new home of Bobcat Esports. Renovations will include competition of practice areas along with office space.

The project is in the final stages of contracting with construction expected to begin soon. Buckley said the project’s goal is to be substantially completed by Dec. 14.

The total cost of renovations is estimated at $650,000.

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