The University of Memphis has made progress on their projects along Southern Avenue, and are expected to finish before the upcoming fall semester.
The UofM started working on the entrance to the Student Recreation and Fitness Center on April 1, which will be closed for construction until the project is completely finished. In a press release, the UofM’s chief operations officer Bruce Harber said in addition to the land bridge and parking garage, Flintco will now begin a new project.
“As the land (pedestrian) bridge and new general parking garage projects continue to progress, the contractor, Flintco, has notified us that access to enter the Recreation Center will be modified,” Harber said. “Due to construction, the current sidewalk access from Spottswood to the Rec Center will be closed indefinitely while crews construct the new plaza area in front of the Rec Center.”
Harber said the sidewalk in front of the entrance will remain closed indefinitely, and encourages students to park in Lot 15, the south lot, if they are visiting the Rec Center. Although the west lot will remain available for students, the Rec Center will not be accessable from that side.
“The only way to enter the Campus Recreation Center will be from the north side of the building, which is accessible from Parking Lot 15, or the South Lot,” Harber said. “You will not be able to enter the facility coming from Spottswood or from the parking lot west of the Rec Center, as the area will not be accessible during the plaza construction.”
Tony Poteet, the assistant vice president of campus planning and design, said the accessibility to the Rec Center will improve in about a month, when a new path will be constructed.
“The access should improve in a little over a month as we will be able to open a pathway from the front doors across the new mall to the west parking area,” Poteet said. “You can expect a new plaza to be in place around the time of class starting dependent upon weather.”
At the construction’s beginning, the UofM said the parking garage would be completed by August 2019 and the pedestrian bridge was expected to be completed by December 2019, but Poteet said production has increased on both projects and should both be completed by August 2019.
“The Parking Garage and Bridge are scheduled to be substantially complete for use in the general timeframe of the first two weeks of August.” Poteet said. “Weather may or may not impact that.”
Poteet said he and his staff are very proud of the progress on these projects and believes the projects will benefit students for generations.
“Access over the railroad has been difficult for many many years, and we are close to having a very safe solution and are grateful to the students that have invested in the project through their student fees,” Poteet said.
The three major projects underway are projected to be finished in time for students to utilize these new resources in the Fall 2019 semester.