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The fencing surrounding Constant Hall is down, the doors are in place, and faculty are expected to move into their new offices as soon as May 1. Despite a slower-than-expected pace, Ron Tola, assistant vice president for facilities, told the Board of Visitors April 12 that "the quality is there, as are delays."

Officials expect the renovated hall, which will house the College of Business and Public Administration, to be open for summer classes.

In other construction news, the Constant Convocation Center continues on its targeted schedule. The contractor, S.B. Ballard Construction Co., has finished more than 75 percent of the facility. Substantial completion is slated for August, with the first of many opening ceremonies planned for mid-September.

Don Runyon, assistant vice president of auxiliary services, who will oversee management of the center, noted that about 800 basketball season ticket holders toured the site April 7. President Roseann Runte said that about $55,000 in season ticket sales were made following the tour.

Doug Higgons, the facility's new general manager, was on hand to meet the board and answer questions. He begins work May 1. Higgons, deputy general manager at Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City the past two years, previously held marketing and administrative positions at Global Spectrum's corporate headquarters and at several of its managed facilities. Global Spectrum, a Philadelphia-based public assembly facilities and event management company, will operate the 8,600-seat Constant Center.

Construction of the the center's 1,400-car parking deck is projected to be complete by July, with a 209-car surface lot to be finished in time for the fall semester.

Passers-by at the site of the new Engineering and Computational Sciences Building undoubtedly have noticed fencing surrounding the area. The installation of the building's foundation piles is expected to begin by the end of April, with actual construction of the facility slated to start this summer. The targeted date for occupancy is late 2003.

The Magnetic Levitation Elevated Transportation System also is inching toward reality. The first portions of the
Maglev track have been installed, and construction of stations and installation of the remainder of the track are expected to begin in May or June. The vehicle, which continues to undergo tests in Edgewater, Fla., should be delivered around the same time as the station construction. Following tests throughout the summer, the is expected to be up and running by late summer.

This article was posted on: April 22, 2002

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