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Campus & Community

Construction Zone Defense

Campus Road, Building Work Heighten Need for Safety Awareness

By Maryland Today Staff

Students walk amid orange construction cones on Campus Drive

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

Seven buildings as well as the light-rail Purple Line are concurrently under construction or being renovated on campus.

There's a signpost on the road to a newer, more vibrant campus: Work Zone Ahead. 

Seven buildings as well as the light-rail Purple Line are concurrently under construction or being renovated, and while they’re spread out across the campus, they may cause you to adjust your typical driving or walking route.

The university is urging members of the community to be patient and alert and to follow these safety tips: 

  • Exercise caution and travel slowly.

  • Stay out of work zones, which are labeled with signs, fencing or other barriers.

  • Avoid distractions (yes, you with the earbuds) while driving, walking, cycling, scootering or skating. 

  • Use the marked pedestrian detours and don’t take hazardous shortcuts.

  • Obey instructions on lighted electronic traffic signs.

  • Be aware of closure notifications, typically sent in advance to those who will be impacted.

Meanwhile, here’s the latest on the progress at those construction sites: 

Biology-Psychology Building
Construction is complete on the new roof of the Biology-Psychology Building, one of the biggest roofing projects the university has ever undertaken. Most of the work was finished last summer, and now the roof on the penthouse level is also being replaced. 

Chemistry Building
Renovations to select areas started in November, including work to create administrative offices, tutoring rooms and space for student organizations. Next, Wing 1 will be demolished and replaced by a new 105,000-square-foot building that will house research labs, office and meeting spaces. 

Cole Field House
Crews are working to complete the exterior of the new Cole Field House by the end of winter; the athletic portion is slated to be done by 2020’s close. After the academic facilities are completed next year, the new Cole Field House will house sports, academics and research, including the Center for Brain Health and Human Performance, which will facilitate research into concussions and other brain behavior. 

E.A. Fernandez IDEA Factory
The IDEA (Innovate, Design and Engineer for America) Factory, a four-story engineering building to house entrepreneurial enterprises, robotics and rotorcraft research labs and the new Quantum Technology Center, will replace the recently demolished Potomac building. Construction has started with underground piling work and the installation of perimeter fences. 

H.J. Patterson Hall
Construction in Wing 2 continues on a new HVAC system for H.J. Patterson, Jimenez Hall and the University Health Center. Work is expected to wrap up by the end of summer. 

North Campus Residence Halls and Dining Hall
Construction began in September on two new residence halls and a new dining facility on North Campus. The Varsity Practice Fields and a section of Farm Drive (between Parking Lot Q and the Ellicott Hall access road) have been shut down to accommodate the project. The road network on the north side of campus has been permanently reconfigured, and two new roads—one that loops around the Cambridge Community and one that loops around the Ellicott Community—were opened.

Purple Line
The Purple Line will extend from New Carrollton in Prince George’s County to Silver Spring and Bethesda in Montgomery County, with five of the 21 stations located directly on or around campus. Current projects include the relocation of utilities on Campus Drive and River Road, the shift of the M Circle closer to the Main Administration Building and partial lane closures and a pedestrian detour at the Campus Drive underpass.  

School of Public Policy Building 
Work is under way on the new  70,000-square-foot home for the school between the Lee Building and Rossborough Inn. The parking lot adjacent to the Lee Building was closed to accommodate underground utility work.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.