Patio project a major undertaking
It’s a patio renovation unlike anything seen in Lethbridge for more than 40 years, and on a scale much larger than an average homeowner might attempt – but the end result will be worth it, according to University of Lethbridge Facilities spokesperson Brian Sullivan.
Beginning in April, demolition and a complete reconstruction will begin on the east patio area of University Hall, as well as the stairs and planters that are located on the east side of University Hall at either end of the building. The project is expected to be complete in September.
“This is a specially funded project through Alberta Infrastructure to address long-term safety issues,” says project manager Brian Sullivan. “The patio, planters and stairs are not connected to the building and have settled over the years, leaving the impression that the University is somehow shifting. It is not. What we’re going to do is replace the 40-year old material and create a very nice space that is in keeping with the original intent of Arthur Erickson’s design, but will be a lot safer to walk on, wheelchair accessible and have better outdoor seating, lighting and other features.”
This is the first phase of rehabilitation for the popular area on campus, and is budgeted to cost approximately $3.6 million.
“Subsequent phases will include the removal and replacement of sidewalks on the west side of the building and replacement of the patio area in the breezeway,” says Sullivan. “These phases will be completed as funding is received from Alberta Infrastructure.”
As with any renovation, it is not without some level of inconvenience.
“The project will be noisy and dusty. There will be vibration as the construction and demolition teams jackhammer the concrete off the patio areas and other locations,” says Sullivan. “This will also require a lot of heavy equipment to complete, so there will be vehicle restrictions on the north entrance to University Hall, as well as a number of construction barricades on the north and south sides of the building. Pedestrian access will continue at the north end of University Hall for people who park in lot K.”
Then there’s the crane. To move the new pre-cast concrete in place for the patio – which doubles as the roof of the boiler room – a large crane will be moved into place near the east patio location. This will require a temporary laneway to be constructed down to the construction site from the north end of University Hall.
“Apart from the fact that we want the internal and external community to know that we have a large project happening here, we also want to reassure people that any changes we have to make to the landscape, it will be returned to its original state once the project is completed,” says Sullivan. “The area we are affecting is part of the original construction zone for the building.”
Sullivan adds that signs will be posted near the site, and updates will be made available to the University community through the U of L website, the Legend and UWeekly on a regular basis.
He also plans to meet with groups in the building who might be more directly affected by the project and provide more information. If people have questions or concerns, they can contact Sullivan directly at 403-329-2592 or via e-mail at email@example.com. In addition, project manager Dick Lutwick is available by calling 403-329-2640.