West Virginia University officials hosted a public forum on Wednesday, November 13 to discuss the progress of the Evansdale Revitalization Plan. The forum took place at the Art Education Center, located in the old Erickson Alumni Center on the Evansdale Campus.
During the meeting, WVU facilities management said the majority of projects are still on track to be completed on time.
"Everything is on board," said WVU Director of Facilities Robert Moyer. "We're working with the project managers on our team, along with the constructors, the contractors, and I'm confident we'll be ready to hit these timelines."
During the meeting, officials played an approximately three minute-long video, showing a flyover of what the Evansdale campus will look like when construction is completed. The new Student Wellness and the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences (CPASS) building, located across from the Student Recreation Center, and the new Agricultural Sciences building, are among projects already under construction.
The Agricultural Sciences building will be over 200,000 gross square feet, and is on track for a completion date in December 2015, while the Student Wellness and CPASS building is scheduled for an April 2014 completion, and open for classes in the fall of 2014.
In addition to new buildings, officials proposed ways to relieve traffic, pedestrian, and parking problems on the Evansdale Campus. There will be 200 more parking spaces, in addition to the creation of a four-way intersection of Evansdale Drive and Monongahela Boulevard.
"We're working with the Department of Highways and the city to really look at these intersections," said Moyer. "We've heard a long time about the 'frogger' game that students have to play crossing Mon Boulevard, so it'll be good to have a traffic signal, or a pedestrian crosswalk, to help not only for the drivers, but for the safety of pedestrians."
There will also be a new traffic light at the intersection of Patteson and Rec Center Drives, so that people leaving the Student Recreation Center may be able to make left turns, which are currently illegal at the intersection.
The Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system is continuing to undergo renovations. Among changes already made are electric cable, boiler system and propulsion upgrades. Officials plan to hire contractors to renovate train controls and fare gates, and may purchase new cars.
Moyer pointed out all the new buildings are vital to the University's efforts to remain attractive to current and prospective students.
"Students really pick based on the new buildings, new facilities and what kind of research the university really has," said Moyer. "So, we felt, to strategically meet our 2020 plan, and to attract and retain students, that all of these construction projects were important."