Weather, school holidays delay construction of sidewalks by communication building

By Sonal Patel
Daily Cougar Staff

Construction continues by the Moores School of Music Building, and despite progress in paving the park area, students will have to bear with it until late in the Spring semester, according to Thomas Wray, the executive director of the Plants and Operations department.

"The purpose of the construction is to provide more of an entrance to the Wortham Theater and the Opera House. Re-landscaping is planned to create more of a scenic background for scholars and visitors alike," said Wray. 

"We hope to achieve a parklike atmosphere between the three schools; benches will be set in the grass opposite the student parking lot."

"It’s kind of annoying, especially if you’ve heard the noise and seen the dirt for over six months," said Christina Nuon, a junior communication major. "It makes you wonder when they really planned to finish whatever they’re doing here."

The construction has been halted for several reasons and due to several occasions, said Wray. 

Pete Medrano/The Daily Cougar

Construction workes pour concrete to complete the last sections of the sidewalks outside the Communication Building. Completion was delayed because the sidewalks did not meet a Texas wheelchair ordinance.

Claiming that weather conditions have been extremely inappropriate to lay wet cement and adequately lay out the plans, the construction is hoped to be fully completed by May or June. "We stopped at commencement and again during the holidays. Also, we changed the initial plans and decided to redo the parking area, so that it would be more appealing to users from the theaters and the music school, and this has delayed the re-landscaping’s completion."

Completion of the sidewalks was also delayed because they failed to meet a Texas wheelchair ordinance.

According to Wray, however, many other projects are in the process of operation. Buildings are facing renovations including the Conrad Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management. 

This only means that presently operating projects will be slowed down, and may not be completed before the University re-opens for the Spring semester Jan. 19.

Wray said that the University of Houston was funding the renovations, but he was uncertain about the total cost of the project, which he estimated to hover around $70,000.

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