Student Center enters final phase of construction before September 5 opening
Good news Hoyas, construction of the Healy Family Student Center is on target for its September 5 grand opening. The planned pub, however, is only in initial construction phases and is projected for completion by October 31. and Hilltoss, the Corp’s new salad and smoothie bar is slated for November 1.
Vox had the pleasure of seeing the inside of the Center earlier this week. The interior is almost done, with much of the remaining work involving spackling, installing electrical fixtures, and painting.
By August 18, the University is going to have a use and occupancy permit.
“On the 18th, what you’ll see is we’ll start moving furniture in, those kinds of activities, to get ready for the grand opening on the 5th.” Robin Morey, vice president of planning and facilities management said in an interview with Vox. “On the outside you’ll see a lot of work going on.”
As the interior work wraps up, furniture starts moving in, and students begin using the space, the construction team will create a “punch list” of emerging problems. “For example, there may be lighting flickering, or nicks in the wall from moving furniture, so we have to do some touch ups,” project manager Lenn Robinson said. “Over the next few weeks you’ll be seeing a lot work on the exterior. We have to wait until the cool period before we can do any grass or tree planting.”
The northwest entrance across from Leo’s is the one area the construction management team admitted they were behind schedule. This area required major work, as beams bearing the load of the four stories above were replaced. Still, Robinson was confident the area would be where it needed to be by the end of the week.
Along the length of the interior is a “living wall,” which will soon come to life as plants are installed this week, according to Morey. This is just one of the features the building is incorporating as it tries to earn a gold LEED certification. “We are shooting for gold, but all our calculations are not totally completed yet,” Robinson said. Other sustainable features include a storm water collection system and recycled materials throughout the building.
The pub’s delayed opening stems from the drop out of Fritz Brogan’s (COL ‘07, LAW ‘10) decision to withdraw from his agreement with the University in December, and the subsequent four month long selection process for a new vendor until Bon Appétit Management was chosen in April.
“We would have been ready, had that [process] not happened that way,” Morey explained. The design for the pub is submitted, and currently workers are installing pipes and other utilities to lay the foundation for the pub.
Morey also said that there are two potential names for the pub, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Hilltoss, the Corp’s new location offering made-to-order salads, smoothies, and frozen yogurt is on schedule.
“Obviously that date is completely dependent on [the] construction schedule, but right now we are completely on track to hit our target date,” Sam Rodman (MSB ‘15), CEO of the Corp, wrote in an email to Vox.
Photo: Ryan Greene/Vox Populi