Demolition projects experience delays as construction continues at UNT

Article Originally Published by Will Tarpley on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily

Multiple demolition projects for UNT have experienced delays while construction of the Central Dining Hall continues. Two of the buildings scheduled for demolition are the locations of the former Darque Tan and IHOP restaurants, each on opposing sides of the intersection of North Texas and Texas Boulevards.

Those two locations, plus two more, were to begin demolition around Dec 1., according to the UNT Facilities construction report, but are still standing as of Jan. 14.

David Reynolds, associate vice president for facilities,  said UNT has taken a while to find a contractor for the demolitions.

“We expect [to award] the contracts in January later this month,” Reynolds said.

He also confirmed that the “university has a master plan that shows growth … down Avenue C and toward I-35. Adjacent to this is these properties.”

The parking lots near these properties were also rendered off-limits “so people wouldn’t be reliant on them for the new semester,” Reynolds said. The Reserved Residence lot behind the IHOP, however, is still accessible.

The two other locations set for removal include an apartment complex on Avenue A and the East Classroom Building that sits on the corner of Chestnut and Bernard Streets.

“For the apartment complex, that’s going back to grass,” Reynolds said. “We’ll give [the students] an open space since we know that’s hard to find on campus.”

The same fate is planned for the East Classroom Building, though Reynolds said that may change. And while the end dates for these projects is listed as March 31, Reynolds said that a true finishing date was not set in stone.

“We don’t have a firm date, so that’s going to slip until we can pick the contractor,” Reynolds said.

There has been more progress made on the Central Dining Hall located between the Business Leadership Building and the Highland Street Parking Garage. Daniel Armitage, associate vice president of auxiliary services, is in charge of the dining hall project.

“It began as a plan to renovate and expand the dining room at Kerr Hall, but that fell through due to how costly it would have been and due to how small Kerr is,” Armitage said.

Armitage also said that the new dining hall’s proximity to the Union was especially important, as the Union often sees traffic from not only students, but people who come in during orientation and guided tours.

Austen Patrick Viken, a 22-year-old accounting major, said he does not see the need for another dining hall.

“I don’t really dine here [at UNT,] but I think another dining hall is excessive,” Viken said. “We’re up to, what, six now?”

Regardless, work continues on the Central Dining Hall, and Armitage noted that he hadn’t received any complaints from the project cutting off the path from West Highland Street to the Highland Garage, though he also noted that complaints would have gone to the Parking Office.

“Do I anticipate we stay on schedule? Yes, but if we have a rainy season … there could be some delays,” Armitage said.

Elsewhere, Clark Hall underwent a sidewalk, entryway and lobby renovation while the western courtyard at Maple Hall is getting additions. The Indoor Practice Facility on the near Victory Hall is expected to finish its construction by Jan. 29.

Featured Image: Construction crews work on the upcoming Central Dining Hall, slated to open in Fall 2020. Image by Theophilus Bowie

Source: North Texas Daily