Aug 15, 2013 | Atlanta, GA
New RATs may be none the wiser, but students, faculty and staff who’ve been away from Tech for the summer may feel something is different when they return to campus. Some changes will be obvious — such as the conversion of an athletic field from grass to dirt — but others just subtle enough to give off a vibe of change.
Facilities and other departments have been busy getting the campus ready to accommodate more than 20,000 students, plus faculty and staff, for another year.
Smaller enhancements made around campus include new handrails near the O'Keefe building and in the Howey Physics Building, asphalt repairs near the Russ Chandler Baseball Stadium, and repairs to an disability access ramp near the College of Business. Light bulbs across campus have been replaced to enhance energy efficiency and reduce cost. The Tech Trolleys even got bench cushions.
Some larger projects have been finished, some will be soon, and others will continue with longer timelines.
Tech Tower Lawn Renovation: The stairs that lead from the lawn in front of Tech Tower up to the tower itself have been replaced, with fresh landscaping.
Bobby Dodd Way Steam Pipe Replacement: Bobby Dodd Way will reopen to the west of Techwood Drive by the end of August, seeing the near-end of the steam pipe replacement project. To the east, toward freshman housing, the road will stay closed through September.
Glenn and Towers Renovations: Towers Hall is currently closed for renovations and surrounding site work and will reopen for residents in fall 2014. Glenn is serving students this year but will close for renovations for the 2014-15 academic year, with all site work scheduled for completion in 2015.
Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB): Construction on the EBB site, at the corner of State and 10th streets, will continue for a while longer, with a target of building occupancy in spring 2015.
Campus Recreation Center Field: Not only will the field see new turf, an entirely new storm drainage system is being installed underneath. Facilities hopes to have the new field completed by the end of 2013.
Fowler Street Fraternity Houses: Though Georgia Tech isn’t executing these projects, their construction affects campus. The Phi Gamma Delta house, the closer to Fifth Street of the two, will be completed within weeks, with Kappa Sigma, which borders Sixth Street, a few months behind.
Atlantic Drive: The City of Atlanta needs to replace a storm sewer line that runs under Atlantic between 10th and Fifth streets. During the coming weeks, the main portion of this pedestrian thoroughfare will close, but sidewalks will remain open throughout construction. The project should be completed by the end of the fall semester.
For those fond of Tech's tree canopy and green spaces, Landscape Services has performed many maintenance projects to keep the green buzz going on campus.
- Renovated eroded areas caused by shortcuts by laying sod.
- Obtained additional signage to discourage shortcuts.
- Graded and renovated the areas where the new sculptures have been placed (informational signage to come).
- Installing drainage systems at the Steam Engine on Cherry Street and Couch Park. These systems will help grass better develop and survive.
- Renovation of tree lawns by grading and laying of sod on bare spots along Ferst Drive, Techwood Drive, Fourth Street and Sixth Street.
- Removed eight dangerous or dead trees, planted 57 new ones and pruned 72.
- Repaired tripping hazards in sidewalks.
- Pruned shrubs and groundcovers, weeded, and spread 5,000 bales of pine straw and about 100 cubic yards of wood chips.