Tag Archives: construction

Labor Day progress on the Math Science Building

5 Sep

LMU's Math Science building remains on target to be complete by the start of next fall.

The Roundabout is complete!

15 Aug

On August 4, my blog post (https://abesquare.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/potato-patato-rondabout-rotary/) was all about my irrational fear of roundabouts. Well the day has come for me to conquer that fear as the LMU roundabout connecting the DCOM Hill to the drive to Business Education and the Tex Turner Arena on Mars-DeBusk Parkway is now open. Never one to shy away from admitting when I’m wrong, I will now go on record as saying “I love the LMU roundabout.” It was actually fun to drive today. As long as you follow the signs, I don’t think anyone would have trouble with it. Just beware of the MONSTER speed bumps on your way to (or from) DCOM. Happy Driving!

Follow the signs.


Snapshot: Progress on new residence hall

14 Aug

Can you see it? We now have cinderblocks! The new residence halls continue to take shape behind Shelton and Langley Halls.

Potato, “Patato”; Rondabout, Rotary!

4 Aug

It is hard to believe that there is a need from traffic calming on LMU’s quiet main campus in Harrogate, but that is the exact remedy the administration is implementing to slow down speed demons around campus.

The message was delivered in a post on pathway. Sections of the Mars-DeBusk Parkway would be closed for close to six weeks for “road repairs.” I thought it seemed simple enough. The section affected was on the DCOM hill between the medical school and the Business Education building. There was a pretty big dip there anyway, so surely they would just be addressing that.

After the first week of repairs it looked straightforward. The crews were digging up asphalt and dirt. There appeared to be some leveling going on, but nothing to draw suspicion. By week two, a clear circular shape could be seen.

Oh no, could that be a dreaded rotary?

A quick confession. I am a fairly average human being. I’m neither short nor tall; strikingly beautiful nor frighteningly unattractive; overly intelligent nor dunce; giftedly athletic nor tragically uncoordinated. I am pretty average in all that I do (except baking… I rock a mean chocolate chip cookie), especially driving. But nothing freaks me out on the road more than approaching a rotary or Jersey wall.

Every year my husband and I pack up our family and make the 12-hour journey to my hometown in Marcellus, N.Y. (a small village outside of Syracuse if you’ve never heard of it). The husband cracks up once we cross into Pennsylvania because I instantly grip the wheel a little tighter, sit up a little straighter and the stress becomes visible on my face. If you have ever driven through Pennsylvania, you know there is going to be construction and its going to involve Jersey walls at some point.

The second most frightening thing to me on the road is a rotary. Now rotaries, much like soda (pop, coke, soda-pop), are known by different names in virtually every part of the country. In  the Northeast and especially Massachusetts they call them rotaries. In England they are known as roundabouts. They are also called traffic calming circles or just traffic circles. I just call them scary.

The concept is pretty easy. Traffic is merged into a circular intersection in which it travels in one direction around a central island. Multiple exit points exist and the confusion comes when you consider every traffic circle, rotary or what-hav- you can play by different rules. In some countries, for instance, traffic entering the circle has the right-of-way and drivers in the circle must yield. In many other countries, it is the traffic entering the circle that must yield.

To add more heat to the issue, though most people use roundabout and traffic circle or rotary interchangeably, U.S. traffic engineers make the distinction that in a roundabout entering traffic must always yield and in a traffic circle entering traffic is controlled by stop signs, traffic signals or is not formally controlled. 

In theory it is more efficient than traffic lights and stops signs because it keeps everyone moving. My irrational fear of rotaries and roundabouts comes from a bad experience as a passenger when the vehicle I was traveling in got stuck in the wrong lane of a multi-lane rotary. Picture a National Lampoon-esque experience like when Clark Griswald drives his family endlessly around the busy Lambeth Bridgeroundabout for hours.

"Look kids it's Big Ben."


The LMU traffic circle, I am told, is going to be a true roundabout, where traffic in the circle will have the right-of-way. The circular intersection will address speed and safety issues on the DCOM hill. The intersection will merge traffic from the Business Education building and the Tex Turner Arena on to the stretch of Mars-DeBusk Parkway that leads to the main DCOM exit and traffic light on highway 25E. It should be ready by the time our undergraduate students head back to class on August 23.

Maybe by then I will have the courage to conquer my fears. After all this is just the right proactive step to easing what is sure to be an increasingly busy thoroughfare once the new Math and Science building is complete.  Besides, I’ve got to be the only one on campus with this irrational rotary-phobia. We all have to have patience for progress.

Math and Science, but that is not all.

3 Aug

The sound of heavy equipment operating on the campus of LMU is nothing new.  The beep, beep, beep of dump trucks backing up often slices through a serene morning. It seems there has been at least one active building site on campus since the Pope, Mitchell and Dishner residence halls were constructed in 2004.

Not merely an illusion, the University has been moving mountains, pushing dirt and preparing sites for the past six years. The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/01/powered-by-local-businessman-lincoln-memorial/) has pointed out the University’s business savvy in keeping the heavy equipment on campus busy with future plans. It has also come in handy once projects finally get off the ground. An example of that would be the three new residence halls that are now under construction. Just weeks ago there was no activity on the site, which was prepared during the construction of the initial two residence halls, Langley and Shelton Halls. Today, the footers of the three new halls have been poured and a crew is busy laying each foundation.

I often tell people who ask about our rapid expansion that “when we move, we move quickly.” For everyone who was on campus during the building of the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (DCOM) in 2006-07, that was certainly the case. Of course, with a class of eager medical students ready to start in July of 2007, we didn’t have much choice.

The construction of the Math and Science building has been a little less frantic. The build has been planned to take 18 months with an occupancy goal of next summer and classes beginning in the Fall of 2012.

Rendering of the LMU Math and Science Building currently under construction.

Since the initial planning phase for the $24 million building, the goal to create a state-of-the-art learning facility for math and science curriculums has been paramount. The new building will contain an impressive amount of undergraduate laboratory space, accommodating biology, chemistry, physics and even athletic training lab classes. In addition to multiple smaller auditoria, the building will boast LMU’s largest lecture hall, a state-of-the-art learning facility that can accommodate up to 400 students. A large student lounge will be at the ready not only for student’s leisure time, but for campus events as well. The facility promises to be the most advanced undergraduate science facility in the immediate region.

 However, it would be a mistake to leave it at undergraduate math and science. The massive four-story building will be 120,000 square feet -to give you some prospective LMU’s largest building, DCOM, is 105,000 square feet.

With all of this room, the building will become a hub for all of the health professions and sciences on campus.  Indeed, the Caylor School of Nursing is slated to move in along with the Post-baccalaureate Medical Science Program and the proposed College of Veterinary and Comparative Medicine. Additionally, among the labs installed will be a much larger anatomy lab for use by the DO and PA programs. The new lab will be a suite of four individual anatomy labs to accommodate multiple classes at any one time, and will at least quadruple the anatomy capacity of the current DCOM building. And let’s not forget research space. Plans also include plenty of research space, including a microscopy lab.

With nearly a full year of construction ahead, the facility is already taking shape as the roof structure is beginning to be put into place and brick has started to adorn the exterior.  Covering math, science, nursing, osteopathic medicine and veterinary medicine, it is easy to say this building is going to have everything but the kitchen sink, although it is sure to have plenty of those too!