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Construction activity, albeit 'low-impact,' to increase
STANFORD -- The amount of active construction on the Stanford campus is up an average of 17 percent this year over last, and is expected to increase by another 56 percent in the 1996-97 fiscal year, officials with the facilities departments say.
No fewer than 18 major sites under the jurisdiction of Facilities Project Management will be in operation this summer, and a number of smaller projects utility work, roadway and grounds improvements will be under way simultaneously.
Mark Jones, director of Facilities Project Management, said the major projects include development of the Science and Engineering Quadrangle; the continuing seismic renovation of the Main Quadrangle and Green Library West; two new housing complexes; and reconstruction of the Stanford Museum of Art and the addition of a new wing.
Jones said the university is committed to developing construction policies and procedures that "minimize the impact this work has on the surrounding areas, and on the campus community in general."
"We're trying to take the conventional ways that contractors look at project logistics and turn them upside down," Jones said. "We want them to manage the logistics for the benefit of the surrounding community, rather than for the benefit of the contractors."
This approach, he said, means that issues such as material delivery times, large truck arrivals and departures, crew schedules, detours, informative signage, and noise and dust suppression techniques are worked out with contractors in advance so that academic and administrative activity can continue with as little disruption as possible.
As an example, he said, researchers at the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory (HEPL) cannot use their particle accelerator if there is significant vibration in the vicinity, so roadway/utility work and the demolition of three aging and adjacent research facilities will be scheduled around their work, rather than the other way around.
Also, new emphasis has been placed on identifying and clearly marking detour routes for pedestrians, bicycles and all types of vehicles, he said.
Buildings in the Science and Engineering Quadrangle area scheduled to be demolished starting this summer are the Applied Electronics Laboratory, the Engineering Research Laboratory and Sequoia Hall. In addition, a "slice" will be taken out of HEPL so that the South Service Road can be built.
Construction will begin on the first two of four new Science and Engineering Quad buildings the new Statistics Building will begin to go up, on the site of the Varian parking lot, as will the Regional Teaching Facility directly to the west.
Also, as part of the Science and Engineering Quadrangle project, the renovation of the Varian physics building and major utility upgrades will continue over the summer.
The Regional Teaching Facility will be a state-of-the-art lecture hall complex to replace Bloch Hall, scheduled for demolition after the new building is completed. Later projects in the Science and Engineering Quad are a new Electrical Engineering building and a materials science laboratory annex to McCullough. The Science and Engineering Quad also includes a landscaped courtyard.
The $120 million complex is scheduled for completion by the end of 1998.
In the Main Quad, the renovation of Language Corner is scheduled to be completed by this fall, and Geology Corner recently reopened. When Language Corner is finished, it will mark the first time since the October 1989 earthquake that all four corners of the Quad are in full operation.
Seismic work still needs to be completed on a number of smaller Quad buildings, as well as freestanding arcades, and on Building 520-524 just south of the Quad.
When the seismic work is completed, the entire quad and other strengthened campus buildings should be able to withstand an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude along the mid-peninsula section of the San Andreas Fault.
The Green Library West project will continue through late 1998, but the wing will not open until fall 1999. When it does, it promises to be a high-tech wonder in a historic wrapping, said Michael Keller, director of libraries and information resources. The new wing will have a "high-technology infrastructure," he said, and "any reader with a laptop can plug right into SUNet."
The restored building will house special collections, major reading rooms, resource centers for humanities and government documents/social sciences, administrative spaces and, of course, stacks for the collections.
The restored wing will feature a new air conditioning system to provide better protection for rare materials, and new electrical, plumbing, communication, fire protection and structural security systems.
Work has begun on the Schwab Residential Center, a complex of housing for both graduate students and participants in the Graduate School of Business' executive education programs, at the corner of Serra Street and Campus Drive.
The site includes a full-scale mock-up of how part of the finished complex will look, so that planners can make visually informed decisions on which materials and techniques work best.
"This is something we're using more and more," Jones said. "It is intended to pre-test assembly methods, connections, detailing and the appearance of the whole assembly, before we build the real thing."
Work also is under way on new graduate student housing in the Governor's Corner area. This is the project that was delayed in part so that precautions could be taken to help protect the California tiger salamander, which migrates through the area.
Also, work has started or is imminent on the Environmental Safety Facility low-level radioactive waste storage annex; the expansion of the Tennis Stadium; the latest phase of the Stanford Stadium renovation; and the museum.
Groundbreaking for the museum project was held last October. When finished in 1998, the new museum and the surrounding outdoor art garden will be known as the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, in honor of the lead donor.
At Stanford Stadium, planned improvements this year include replacing the aging footboards, along with other functional and safety improvements.
The Capital Improvement Program, a 12-year project to upgrade all of Stanford's residential facilities, continues in 1996 with seismic improvements to the first floor and basement areas of five Escondido Village mid-rise buildings. Work in these areas will enable residents to live on the upper floors during the summer. The upper floors will receive improvements in a later phase.
Jones said engineers determined that by strengthening the first floor and basement areas now, rather than waiting until the buildings could be dealt with in their entirety, the structures could be made much safer immediately. When the second phase is finished, the mid-rises will all meet the university's seismic requirements.
Judy Chan, associate director of the Planning Office, said dozens of other projects are being scheduled over this summer. All should be completed no later than Homecoming Weekend, which starts Oct. 11, she said.
These include the completion of the Serra Mall; landscaping improvements to Gibbons Grove (near the Thornton Center); installation near the Law School of an outdoor art memorial to art Professor Albert Elsen; improvements to the Ginzton Courtyard; paving and lighting of the stadium parking lot; the installation of two dozen emergency phones; and the reconstruction of Galvez Street between Serra and Campus Drive.
Bob Hockey, utilities manager in Facilities Operations, said major utility work to support the new Science and Engineering Quad will happen over the summer. In addition, a new chilled water line will be installed later this year to improve that service, and a major sanitary sewer line will be upgraded.
Stanford is currently in the midst of a major renovation and redevelopment period that began just before the earthquake and will continue into the 21st century. Jones said at its peak, next fiscal year, the annual price tag will be about $200 million.
When this period ends, he said, Stanford can expect to return to a "normal" level of construction, renovation and redevelopment activity, which would involve projects that total about $75 million to $100 million a year.
Given that the physical plant is estimated to be worth about $2 billion, that represents an annual "reinvestment" rate of 5 percent, "which is just about right for us to maintain our ability to meet the programmatic needs of the university into the next century and beyond," Jones said.
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