20190806 Construction - LKenneally

Campus construction made progress over the summer.

As the university continues to grow, new projects replace old homes and fresh pavement lay upon old streets in a bid to make campus a bit more updated and accessible.  

The relocation of the English department to the Humanities Building last summer kick-started a number of new projects that have been taking place this summer.

The building that once housed the English Annex has been torn down, leading to the move of a handful of faculty members and space for new projects on the outskirts of campus.

In addition, the portion of Cincinnati Street outside Catherine Monica (CM) and Madonna residence halls is being redesigned for the future arrival of a new bus line. 

On the south side of campus, construction of the new Integrated Science and Engineering Facility will move forward as bonds are issued to support a majority of the project’s completion. 

Ken Sammons, director of plant and construction services, describes the English Annex project as “medium term,” meaning, as of right now, it will become general parking. This temporary parking lot may be used to lay down construction materials for other projects.  

Thinking long-term, Sammons said the site may be used for another parking garage, similar to the one above the Zag Shop and the mailroom.  

Despite relocation being stressful, especially with an approaching school year, the ongoing effects seem to act in favor of the department said David Tagnani, a lecturer for the English department.  

“I always felt a bit isolated in the annex,” he said.  He and five other members of the English department had offices in the annex, while about 20 other members were scattered across campus. Now, a year later, the rest of campus has gained a few more parking spots and the English department has benefited from working in close proximity to one another.  

“[The move] has really fostered a sense of community with my colleagues,” Tagnani said.  

The redesign of Cincinnati is also contributing to the accessibility of campus. The roadway, which is commonly busy with students coming to and from classes, will be repaved before the start of the year and will feature a new “greenway.” This new streetscape is in preparation for the Spokane Transit Authority Central City Line bus route, a project expected to be completed by 2022.  

According to the STA Moving Forward website, this new rapid transit system will “combine speed and efficiency with the cost effectiveness and flexibility of environmentally friendly buses.”

Overall the construction this summer has reunited departments and will pave the way for the advancement of future construction plans.

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