Goodell Hall, South College next to undergo renovations

By Nicole Dotzenrod

(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)
(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)

Goodell Hall and South College Academic Building are next in line to go through substantial renovations at the University of Massachusetts.

According to Henry Merriman, Design and Construction Management projects manager, the first phase of work on South College began this past week and is scheduled to be completed by mid-November.

The construction on South College is an enabling project to allow for a new building to be built behind it and Thompson Hall. This new building will be the home to the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and will house a number of departments.

A major steam line must be relocated in order for the new building to be built, according to Merriman.

“We have to build a temporary roadway, totally excavate Hicks Way west of South College, and put the new steam tunnel along Thompson low-rise to run down Hicks Way to in front of Dickinson Hall,” he said.

All pedestrian traffic will be directed around Hicks Way, which runs behind Thompson Hall and South College.

“Students will be forced to cross Hicks at the pedestrian intersection and travel a temporary pathway closer to the band building,” Merriman said.  “There’s going to be a pinch-point with campus police for the next two-and-a-half months to direct traffic and eliminate hazards. There is going to be a lot of traffic, there’s no way around it.”

Phase two of the South College project is constructing a new loading dock tunnel to Hicks Way. At the moment, South College is the only loading dock with access to the library. This phase will begin in the winter 2015.

“Meanwhile, the new building is in schematic design which should be completed today,” Merriman said in an interview Friday. “It will be four stories in height, so it will not protrude the current roofline of South College.

In addition to the steam line and loading dock work, older mechanical and electrical systems—which have been in place since South College was built in the 1885—will be replaced.

“South College, being a historic building, we’re treating it with the best respect we can to renovate and restore it,” Merriman said.

Merriman added that services will be fed from the new building into South College.

“We’re allowing the new building to work for South College,” he said.

The entirety of this project is expected to be completed around November 2016. Construction on the new building is expected to begin in March 2015.

There are no remaining offices in South College this semester.

Operations in Goodell, however, will not change during the construction on the building.

The project in Goodell includes replacing the building’s air handlers located on the rooftop of the addition. The new air handlers are expected to improve both the air conditioning and heating system in the building.

“There will be possible temperature inconveniences, but it’s being phased so only one air handler is down at a time,” Merriman said. “That should greatly improve the air conditioning and the heating comfort of the building.”

As a part of replacing the air handlers, the electrical service also must be updated.

The immediate impact of this work will be congestion on Hicks Way. This is expected to be minor in comparison to the South College project and will be easing up as the electrical service construction is completed, according to Merriman.

The work being done on Goodell is expected to run through late spring 2015.

Nicole Dotzenrod can be reached at [email protected]