Inside Clemson

Construction: Douthit Hills approved; other projects impacting campus

Date Published: August 12, 2014

By Jackie Todd, Office of Media Relations

The state has cleared the way for the start of Douthit Hills, the biggest construction project ever on campus. While it will be a few months before you see work beginning there, other construction on campus will have an immediate impact on faculty, staff and students as the semester begins.

“Every effort is being made to minimize the disruption to campus. The university community is encouraged to review Inside Clemson and the Upcoming Events section of the Facilities website for current information on project impacts,” said Chief Facilities Officer Bob Wells.

Douthit Hills

The State Budget and Control Board Tuesday approved the sale of $183 million in bonds to finance the construction of the student housing, retail and activity hub on the former Douthit Hills housing development.

Located along Highway 93 behind the Clemson House, it will include housing for upper-class students (980 beds) and for students in the Bridge to Clemson transfer program (750 beds). It also will be the site for the bookstore and retail dining options.

Site work could begin by December or January and the first buildings could be finished by 2018.

Core campus to begin soon

The $96 million Core Campus project will feature a 260,000-square-foot mixed-use facility that will include student housing, dining facilities and meeting space for faculty and students.

At this point, the university is waiting for final construction permits and expects to break ground within weeks. What can you expect from this two-year project is street closures, utility changes and relocation of employee and student parking spaces.

For example, Klugh Avenue will be closed for the duration of the Core Campus project. The employee spaces (green spaces) on Klugh Avenue will be relocated to Williamson Road from Fort Hill Street to Fike Recreation Center. Parking Services will move commuter spots (orange spaces) in that area further toward Highway 93 in a lot known as 2A. Upon completion of the Core Campus project, Klugh Avenue will be realigned and designated as a one-way street. Additionally, the ATM machines at this location are now closed and will permanently be relocated to other main campus areas.

In the heart of the main campus, Fort Hill Street will be closed for up to eight weeks. However, officials report that accommodations will be made on this thoroughfare for home football games and alternate routes will be established for Clemson Area Transit Bus routes that use Fort Hill.

Watt Family Innovation Center (WFIC)

Turner Construction continues it work on the building and has placed signage to direct pedestrian traffic around unsafe areas. At this point, the deep excavations and most of the underground utility work are complete. This project is expected to continue through July 2015.

For up-to-the-minute updates, Turner is using social media to update on its progress. Simply “Like” the WFIC-dedicated Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CUWFIC and follow them on Twitter @CUWFIC to receive timely project updates.

Freeman Hall addition

Construction began at the end of June. Fencing was put up and existing utilities that service the building from the front were cut and rerouted. Building demolition is completed and underground utilities are in progress.

Fernow Street will remain one-way traffic only from Calhoun Drive to South Palmetto Boulevard for the duration of the project.

Other construction projects

If you’re used to parking on Calhoun Street across from Hardin Hall, prepare to make other plans. That street will soon be closed as Facilities digs a duct bank (meaning a very large trench), which will encompass the length of the street.

Another duct bank will soon appear in the area connecting Vickery and Long Halls. Through this duct bank, workers will access and upgrade utility lines and pipes that reside below the street.

The recent rains have delayed the completion of the Martin Hall courtyard and the Amphitheater renovations. Portions of these project areas will be open for pedestrian traffic by the first day of classes. Construction areas will be clearly demarcated and must be avoided for safety.  The Martin Hall Courtyard with the exception of landscaping will be completed by the end of August and the Amphitheater project should be completed by the end of September

Facilities notes that many of the construction projects will involve planned electrical outages. The good news is that many of these planned events will be scheduled after business hours and during holiday breaks. So that you can plan accordingly, Facilities will notify building security coordinators in advance of those outages.

Parking

The former employee gravel lot at Cherry and Perimeter, which was under construction for the summer, will open mid-September. While workers are putting the finishing touches on this new eco-friendly lot, temporary parking will be available at the Wren House in the Botanical Garden. Shuttle service will be provided from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. Parking and Transportation Services will provide transportation for those who need to get to their vehicles in the middle of the day. Call 864-656-2270 for assistance.

With the campus construction in full swing, Parking and Transportation Services Director Dan Hofmann and his team are working on creative — and less expensive — alternatives to get faculty, staff and students where they need to be on campus.

One of those alternatives is the creation of “Park and Ride” sites, where users can pay $24 to park at an off-campus location and take a shuttle to campus. More information about park and ride locations will be featured as it becomes available.

“While we recognize this [construction] may be an inconvenience, we want to try to make this as seamless as possible with the least amount of impact for our employees and students,” said Hofmann.

Visit the Parking and Transportation Services website for more information.

For more campus construction updates, visit the Facilities website.