Wednesday, May 8, 2013

University Projects Continue

UTEP Gets Ready for Centennial Plaza Construction

New chain link fences, reconfigured parking spaces, and temporary sidewalks are all part of recent prep work for construction of the future Centennial Plaza at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), what could be one of the largest projects for the school’s “Campus Transformation.”

That’s according to the latest update to the school’s UTEP On the Move website which highlights coming projects and how they will affect campus access.
UTEP’s future Centennial Plaza will eliminate vehicular traffic at the center of campus.
Work began in April when a trench was built along Randolph Drive in order to install a guardrail. A chain link fence will also be installed in order to protect pedestrians from planned construction.

On May 1, construction began on a 10-foot wide sidewalk along Randolph for student access. Chain link fences will also provide a “layer of separation” between pedestrians and construction vehicles and personnel.

Another sidewalk will be constructed in front of the Administration Building and the Peter and Margaret de Wetter Center, and chain link fence will be erected around both buildings. Throughout the rest of the month, additional sidewalks and fencing will be constructed in and around the plaza.
Northward view from above the future Centennial Plaza
The Centennial Plaza project will create a large pedestrian space that will get rid of streets and parking lots, all but eliminating vehicles from the campus center. The area will be modeled after “urban plazas located across the Paso del Norte region and in Mexico, where residents congregate and celebrate life.”

Groves of mesquite trees will shade students and teachers using the plaza, which is described as a “paseo for strolling, socializing and relaxing, or for studying with classmates and friends.” The trees are native to the region.

The green space at UTEP’s center may host events, and possibly outdoor classrooms, according to the Campus Transformation website. It is bordered the Union, the Geological Sciences building, the Psychology building, and the Administration building.

The project is just one of several planned for the grounds of the University that will “use pedestrian walkways and green spaces to knit together campus buildings, creating a climate consistent with UTEP's development as a national research (Tier One) university with a 21st century student demographic.” The school’s goal is to complete the projects in time for its 100th anniversary celebration in 2014. The project was designed by the Lake/Flato and Ten Eyck architectural firms.

UTEP On the Move website: