The end of the semester has arrived, which means the summer has begun even if the thermometer hasn’t quite gotten the memo. It also means a beehive of activity has erupted on the site of the future Luddy Hall.
At first glance, there hasn’t been much visible progress. Nothing has sprung from the ground. The bones of Luddy Hall haven’t suddenly appeared. Instead, the construction process is still in “clean slate” mode. Sidewalks had to be torn up and disposed. Retaining walls that for years lined both the Woodlawn and East Cottage Grove Ave. boundaries of the lot have been removed by backhoes, and the ground is slowly being leveled.
A parade of dump trucks are hauling the extra earth away as the construction crews ready the ground to set a foundation in the near future. There also has been a lot of surveying work, and a more permanent fence has been erected surrounding the area.
Four construction trailers have also been added to the area, and that has led to roughly 80 percent of the parking lot on Walnut Grove being rendered unusable for parking. That said, the construction project for Luddy Hall is only partially to blame for the parking lot issue. An unrelated steam project shoulders the other part of the blame for the disruption in the lot. That effort will last most of the summer but is expected to be completed by the start of fall classes. The impact of the Luddy Hall construction will be felt with the loss of two rows in the lot until Spring 2018.
Although the construction may be a bit of an inconvenience at times due to noise and the parking problem, it will all be worth it when Luddy Hall opens in December 2017.