January 25, 2006

C.U. Plans to Construct New Building and Plaza

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In the midst of construction throughout campus, there are more plans for the physical sciences, including planning out a walkway and open space by Bailey Hall.

The final plans were just approved by the trustees to replace the parking lot in front of Bailey Hall with Bailey Plaza, a completely paved pedestrian plaza with planted areas. Paved entirely with bluestone, this area will have multiple paths between Roberts Hall, Malott Hall, Bailey Hall and the Big Red Barn. Evergreen trees, red-twig dogwood shrubs and 8-10 ft benches will be scattered across the plaza.

The design includes a water feature consisting of stacked rocks emerging from the ground at a height of about six feet at the front and descending to about 2-3 feet at the back. Water will dribble down the rocks basically the same way as when rain runs down and water seeps through the rocks in the gorges.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc., headed by Michael Van Valkenburgh ’73, is the landscape architecture firm that has been working on this $4.5 million project funded by donations, with the university providing loans as needed.

“During the design process, [we] presented the working design to students and faculty in landscape architecture and got a lot of interesting and constructive feedback,” said Chris Counts, project designer and associate, Valkenburgh Associates. Construction is anticipated to start late this spring with the hopes of completion in October, following the completion of Bailey Hall.

“This isn’t a new idea; Bailey Plaza has been the subject of many projects over the years, but nothing has been done,” said Peter Karp, a University architect.

Traffic patterns will change in that cars and buses will be able to go around Bailey Hall as opposed to through it. According to David Lieb ’89, assistant director for public information, transportation and mail services, alternate parking for people in the area is still being figured out.

“This will be the keystone in the campus between the endowed and state colleges,” said Dennis Osika, director, grounds department.

Just a bit down the hill from Bailey Hall, there are designs for an estimated $125 million new physical sciences building to replace the circle and parking between Baker, Clark and Rockefeller Halls. Part of the New Life Sciences Initiative, the space will be designated for the chemistry, chemical biology and physics departments in arts and sciences and applied and engineering physics in engineering.

Two architecture firms have been selected and are working together on the project: Koetter, Kim & Associates, headed by Fred Koetter ’75 and Susie Kim ’71, and Burt, Hill Inc. The Board of Trustees approved the schematic design, with the final design to be presented in June.

The first floor will be dedicated to undergraduate teaching in applied and engineering physics, chemistry and physics. The basement will include vibration-free space for nanoscience research; the top floors will house offices and research labs. The plans include a 146-seat auditorium, tables and atriums, a small caf