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Construction and U

Deja Gagner
College of Liberal Arts, Economics Major, Class of 2016

The current round of construction projects at the University of Minnesota is coming to an end. Within the next year we will see an expanded recreation center, new residence hall, convenient public transportation on campus, and an iconic auditorium.

The University Recreation and Wellness Center’s new space will include a rock climbing wall, multipurpose rooms for fitness classes, two gymnasiums, offices, an outdoor recreation center, areas for cardio and weight training, locker rooms, and a jogging track. The building, opening this fall, will take advantage of natural light and ventilation to cut back on energy consumption. Best of all, you can take a tour of the new recreation center during Parents Weekend on October 18.

The new residence hall on 17th Avenue, which has yet to be named, is to be completed by the start of the fall 2013 semester. It’s a six-story hall that will house 600 students. The building will contain many of the same amenities as the current residence halls, as well as a unique dining service with six to eight different stations where students can see their food prepared fresh. A number of the rooms will be reserved for fraternity and sorority students. Members of fraternities and sororities without enough space in their houses will be able to live with their brothers or sisters in the new hall.

The Central Corridor Light Rail (Green Line) construction on Washington Avenue will connect downtown Minneapolis with downtown St. Paul making eighteen stops along the eleven-mile track, including stops on West Bank, East Bank, and Stadium Village. The Central Corridor Light Rail is projected to be completely finished in the spring of 2014. For more information about what construction means for commuters or those visiting campus, please visit lightrail.umn.edu.

The biggest University project is the reconstruction of Northrop Auditorium. This project was recently selected as one of six finalists in an international competition for the world’s most difficult deconstruction projects, because Northrop must be made more functional by improving the technologies used in production while simultaneously preserving the historic design. Construction includes remodeling the space so that patrons sitting in any of the 2,800 seats will be able to see and hear performances clearly from within 100 feet of the stage. The new Northrop will also house the University’s Honors Program, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Innovation by Design program. The reconstruction of Northrop is expected to be completed this fall and ready for its grand opening in April 2014.

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