A multitude of large construction projects extend the University of Alabama: CEG


The new Tutwiler Residence Hall will accommodate over 1,200 first year female students with double bedrooms, private bathrooms in each room, living rooms and community / traditional style residence spaces. The project is budgeted at $ 144.9 million. (rendering from the University of Alabama)

Signs of even greater growth on the University of Alabama (UA) campus are clear, with several construction projects underway costing hundreds of millions of dollars in total, many of which are impacting the great Tuscaloosa.

Construction takes up much of each summer on campus, with UA intentionally doing as much work as possible throughout the season to minimize barriers to students and faculty during the fall and spring semesters.

UA’s associate vice president for construction Tim Leopard told AL.com, a statewide news service, that several construction projects were underway on campus this summer, as well as other projects that will begin soon, collectively costing more than $ 350 million. These include the New Tutwiler Residence Hall, the brand new Hewson Hall and the 2nd Avenue Viaduct.

The budget shown for each project is what Leopard calls the “total project cost”. This includes construction, infrastructure, landscaping and paving, as well as non-construction costs such as computer systems, wireless networks, audiovisual components, furniture, architectural fees – whatever it will cost to carry out a project through its planning, design and construction.

New Tutwiler residence

Located at the northeast corner of 10th Avenue and 12th Street in Tuscaloosa, the new Tutwiler Hall will accommodate more than 1,200 first-year students with double rooms, each with a private bathroom. In addition, living rooms and community spaces are part of its design.

Construction began in June 2019 with a budget of $ 144.9 million.

TurnerBatson Architects in Birmingham designed the dormitory, with Birmingham-based BL Harbert LLC building the 1,284-bed facility.

The new Tutwiler dormitory is scheduled to open in August 2022.

It will be the third residence built on the university’s campus over a 100-year period in honor of Julia Tutwiler, a 19th century activist for education and prison reform in Alabama.

On its website, UA Maps noted that the new residence was specially designed to meet the needs of students, as well as to support annual move-in events and summer camps.

“Each level of the building includes smaller, intimate, community-style living and study spaces to encourage a sense of coziness and coziness,” according to a description on the university’s website. “This new residence will also include on-site fitness facilities and a multi-purpose room that doubles as a storm shelter that will provide residents with space to host group meetings and social gatherings. “

Existing demolition of Tutwiler and redevelopment of the site

Shortly before the completion of the new Tutwiler Hall next summer, demolition work on the old dormitory will begin.

Currently, plans call for the structure to implode on July 4, 2022, at a cost of $ 10 million.

The proposed work will result in the demolition of the existing 270,225 gross ft². residence before site development to stabilize the area affected by the demolition. In addition, the pedestrian paths and utilities needed to serve the new dormitory will also be improved, the teams will build a landing site to serve the new Tutwiler Residence Hall as well as a new bus loop. New site lighting and a traffic light along 10th Avenue will be included to respond to area traffic, according to UA.

2nd Avenue Viaduct

University officials noted that more than 70,000 vehicles passed through the railroad tracks along the southern edge of the Alabama campus each day. There are only two ways to get in and out of this part of the college, both going through the railroad tracks.

To avoid having to cross the tracks, the 2nd Avenue Viaduct Project will form a connection between 15th Street and Paul W. Bryant Drive (10th Street), creating a new central corridor to campus. UA notes that the new road will also be useful for emergency response and traffic during campus events.

Construction of the viaduct began in early 2020 with a budget of $ 21 million. The structure was designed by McGiffert and Associates of Tuscaloosa, an engineering consultant. Brasfield & Gorrie in Birmingham is the prime contractor.

Leopard noted that the 2nd Avenue viaduct is expected to be completed in August. When that happens, he said the drivers will pass over the AU campus, giving them a unique view of Sewell Thomas Stadium, Coleman Coliseum and the rest of the university.

Peter Bryce Main Renovation

UA is in the process of renovating the old Peter Bryce Main Hospital building to include the university reception center, reception area and associated offices and administrative premises. The building will also house faculty offices and rehearsal space for the theater and dance department, as well as museums devoted to both the history of the school and the history of mental health in Alabama.

The $ 83.8 million renovation is currently in the design / tender phase, according to the university, but the architect for the project is Birchfield Penuel & Associates in Birmingham. UA has not yet indicated when construction will begin.

“Restore the past, re-imagine the future. Recognizing the caliber of the performing arts at AU, the University is writing a new screenplay and reinventing the role of Bryce Main,” according to a description of the project on the UA Maps site Internet. “This transformation will restore and revitalize this historic facility, allowing it to not only be an important part of the story of how the campus has developed in the past, but also of how the campus will develop in the past. ‘to come up. “

Leopard said UA was working on this building “in packages”, adding that it is currently finishing a set of stairs and elevators and working with the architects to prepare the final project. The hope is that the project will be put out to tender by the end of the year, he explained, while calling the Bryce an “incredibly complex project” to which the school take care to protect the inheritance of the structure.

Hewson Room

Just months after donating $ 15 million to the school, UA announced plans for Hewson Hall, an addition to Culverhouse College of Business. The $ 54 million, 108,000 square feet. building will be constructed adjacent to Mary Hewell Alston Hall, and centered around a three-story atrium. The new facility will include 22 classrooms, 50 team rooms, a student success center, conference rooms and other features. In addition, it will also be built with a FEMA classified storm shelter.

The building, located at 380 Stadium Drive in Tuscaloosa, will be completed and open in time for classes in August.

The architect of the structure is Williams Blackstock of Birmingham, and the builder of Hewson Hall is WAR Construction in Tuscaloosa.

Greek accommodation

Currently, the only Greek housing project underway at UA is a $ 2 million renovation of the Delta Gamma sorority house. The effort was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic, but it is expected to restart with offers to be released this fall. A completion scheduled for summer 2022 has been set.

Leopard said it would be completed in two phases, starting with the renovation of the service area and the dining room, followed by the construction of a 978 square foot building. in addition to the building.

He told AL.com that no further Greek housing work is scheduled for this summer.

Connection to the thermal energy of the central campus

The $ 33 million project involves work on the pipes that connect various buildings to UA’s central thermal system, where chilled water is created and distributed to the central part of the campus.

Leopard said the new utility project will save UA money by eliminating the need for each building to generate its own thermal system.

Scheduled for completion this fall, the thermal power hookup is designed by HHB Engineers, of Prattville, Ala., And is installed by Burns & McDonnell, a Kansas City engineering and construction company with an office in Atlanta. .

He characterized the AU as “a city within a city”, with roads, sewers, power lines and other infrastructure that the school builds, operates and maintains.

“We have to provide all of this infrastructure to support the academic mission,” he said in remarks to AL.com

University services campus renovations

The University of Alabama bought the old Partlow campus property years ago, Leopard said, to perform adaptive reuse of buildings there for college service and support.

This summer, for example, work began on a $ 2.5 million environmental health and safety warehouse totaling 11,000 square feet along Ruby Tyler Parkway.

Montgomery-based Payne Design Group Architects designed the renovations to the structure, as well as the buildings to house offices for UA’s construction administration, procurement, human resources and transit. Together they add up to 59,302 square feet of space.

The total renovation budget is $ 9.4 million.

Parker Haun Tennis Center

The Parker Haun tennis facility, located on the courts of the University of Alabama Student Recreation Center, is currently under construction, with builder, Snow-Blakeney Construction in Tuscaloosa, working to complete the project in August. . Work began on the project in February.

The $ 1.4 million complex was designed by Ellis Architects of Tuscaloosa.

Leopard called the tennis complex a “key and critical project” which was made possible by the support of “many good college friends”.

Water distribution system improvements

The Town of Tuscaloosa is building a new water tower as part of its project to improve the water distribution system from Queen City Avenue east to the UA campus. It is located at the intersection of Campus Drive and Riverside Drive on the northwest edge of the university’s footprint.

The UA and the city have teamed up to study the long-term needs of the system on campus and in surrounding areas. Together, they identified the need for strong investments in the water supply system to meet the demand for current use and planned development in and around the campus.

Construction of the $ 650,000 water tower is expected to increase and stabilize water pressure on the UA campus and the surrounding community while hopefully eliminating any pressure-related water issues at large events. in college, such as Crimson Tide football games, according to UA.

The plans for the project, including the water tower, were drawn up by McGiffert & Associates and from these plans Dominion Construction in Tuscaloosa began to build the structure.

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