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Improvements to Auditorium, North Texas Boulevard among construction projects

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The university’s facilities department is working on more than 30 construction projects, including improvements to Curry Hall and the Auditorium Building.

“[They are] mostly interior renovation projects that we’re doing in the summer to improve spaces and get them ready for the students and for new programs that will be needing them for the fall semester,”  said Helen Bailey, director of facilities design and construction at the university.

 

A “sidewalk closed” sign stands on North Texas Boulevard on July 15, 2022. Maria Crane

Most of the projects will be finished when the 2022-23 school year begins, although some will continue. Nearby roadways, North Texas Boulevard and Bonnie Brae Street are under construction as well.

The construction on North Texas Boulevard is a part of Denton’s “2020 Street Reconstruction Bundle: Southwest Sector Project” which is funded by the 2012 and 2014 city bond programs. The project includes the construction of new gutters and curbs, asphalt roadways and upgraded wastewater facilities. Construction on Bonnie Brae Street, also funded by the bond program, will continue into the fall semester.

“Bonds in large amounts, for big projects like roads and civic buildings, must be approved by voters in an election,” said District 3 Councilmember Jesse Davis in an email to the Daily. “Bonnie Brae Street is [the] biggest bond-funded project near campus. Voters approved major improvements to Bonnie Brae in 2014, and the project also includes a major water main upgrade under the street, which is part of why construction has taken so long.”

As far as new construction goes, nothing major is planned near campus until next summer, Davis said.

“The only [project] that will remain under construction [into the fall] that we’re aware of at this time […] is North Texas Boulevard,” Bailey said.

North Texas Boulevard is maintained by the city of Denton while the university’s buildings, landscape and hardscape are under the purview of UNT Facilities, according to Bailey. She said this includes sidewalks, new buildings and renovations to existing buildings.

 

A fence stands in front of the sign for the College Inn on July 16, 2022. Maria Crane

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“[UNT Facilities works] very hard to schedule and complete construction projects that could be disruptive to campus operations […] over the summer before the start of fall semester,” said Jeff Brown, the associate vice president for facilities, in an email to the Daily.

Brown said facilities has “worked on plans to minimize [the projects’] impact.”

Among those projects is College Inn, a residence hall that is currently being torn down. The process will last into late September. The main auditorium in the Auditorium Building on the north side of campus will also be under repair and inaccessible during the fall.

Curry Hall is also under renovation that will continue during the upcoming semester, according to Bailey. Bailey said the project will bring “the whole building up to today’s codes for compliance and safety,” which includes a new sprinkler system.

The building renovation also includes the air conditioning system, all of the restrooms and lighting.

“The purpose of that renovation is to improve the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in the building […],” Bailey said. “We  [will have finished] gut-renovating all the classrooms and […] pretty much all the finishes in the building.”

Featured Image: A line of construction vehicles work on North Texas Boulevard on July 15, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

Article Originally Published by McKinnon Rice on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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