Anatomy of a campus construction project

“We wanted to account for students sleeping,” Kellogg said, adding that there weren’t any student complaints relayed to JCJ during the yearlong project. “And we know not many students are out of bed at six in the morning.”

UA worked closely with university police to rope off portions of the southern tip of campus affected by the construction of the newest residence hall, but made sure not to interrupt cross-campus walks with lengthy detours that would frustrate students and faculty.

“Especially during construction, we have to keep the campus running smoothly, and keep it well oiled,” Curtis said. “There’s no room to clog things up.”

Construction hours and detour details were sometimes relayed to students and staff via social media.

For more campus construction news, see:

‘Building Excellence’ section of eCampus News Online

Meanwhile, Kellogg and LaPosta kept an eye on nearby power lines that lie close to the South Hall construction zone. Any misstep, they said, would have proven more than a nuisance for the UA community and surrounding neighborhoods.

“If we had accidentally cut one of those lines, we would have wiped out power for a pretty large area,” Kellogg said. “We had to be very careful about where he laid our foundation. Otherwise, it could have been lights out for a little while.”

Parental approval

Curtis said the amenities included in South Hall—and the other recently constructed residence halls—have made for a gratifying move-in day in late August, when parents drop off their children at the UA campus.

The demand for a residence hall with state-of-the-art security cameras, acoustically controlled rooms made of masonry and precast concrete floors, and individual bathrooms has driven the construction of UA’s three most recent student living areas.

All 535 beds in South Hall were reserved just weeks after the university announced it would build a new residence hall.

“We’re seeing that parents are willing to pay a little more for their children to be in a new building,” Curtis said. “They want these things for their children, and we’re more than happy to give it to them.”

That demand, Curtis said, could be driven in part by unsafe neighborhoods in the greater Akron area, where parents might fear for their children’s safety.

Upscale student housing is an effective student recruitment tool not just because it impresses visiting students. Parents, Curtis said, gush about the campus’s newest residence halls.

“Parents will come up and thank us with sincerity for providing this type of housing for their children,” he said. “It’s a wonderful feeling during move-in day. … It’s thrilling to have your customers thank you.”

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