Thursday, October 2, 2014

UTEP Updates: Campus Work Centers on ‘Transformation’ Projects

Transportation, Housing Developments Also on University’s Checklist

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is gearing up for its Centennial Celebration, and crews continue their progress on projects around campus.

Students and visitors to UTEP have dealt with detours, fenced off areas, and general construction for many months, particularly in the middle of the school’s grounds where Centennial Plaza is taking shape.
A crowd gathers around the Esfera Cuantica Tlahtolli sculpture, recently unveiled at the University of Texas at El Paso (www.youtube.com/user/UTEP)

According to UTEP News, crews recently began digging holes for the trees and shrubbery that will surround the plaza. Centennial Plaza is the centerpiece of UTEP’s Centennial Celebration, a large gathering area bordered by the Union, Geological Sciences, Psychology, and Administration buildings. University construction will ultimately remove streets, parking lots, and concrete areas to reveal a more natural, pedestrian-friendly environment.

Nearby, a new public art piece was recently unveiled in front of the Fox Fine Arts Center. Esfera Cuantica Tlahtolli was created by famed artist Sebastián for UTEP as a gift from the people of Mexico via the Consul General of Mexico in El Paso.

The sculpture is 13-feet tall and spherical in nature. Sebastin also created the enormous red ‘X’ sculpture that stands near the U.S./Mexico border in Juarez.

On the northern side of campus, construction continues on the housing complex that will add room for 352 students. As crews work on the three buildings that are part of the project, a new entry design will replace the current entrance off of Sun Bowl Drive being used by construction vehicles. That project is expected to be completed by fall of 2015.

Work on the widening of Sun Bowl Drive is largely complete, with some delays caused by recent rains. This includes painting of bike lane symbols along the street.

Further south, the Schuster Avenue overpass project continues, as many El Paso commuters will attest; construction has closed I-10 on consecutive weekends. No word if the timeline has changed for this project, which has seen delays due to traffic accidents and weather. Initial projections had the project slated for completion in fall of 2014.

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