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Volume 71, Issue 147, Thursday, June 29, 2006


Theater plaza slated for a redesign

Officials hope the third time will be a charm for the new plaza's uneven paving blocks

by Rebecca Daoud
The Daily Cougar

After two failed construction attempts, the plaza in front of the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre is getting an architectural redesign.

Project Manager Supriyo Chowdhury said the first time the driveway was constructed, the paving company didn't install asphaltic sealer, a protective layer that helps keep pavement from becoming loose and uneven. The second time, the company used the wrong type of dirt under the paving blocks.

The high traffic on the plaza requires the dirt to have specific structural components.

Paul Kim/The Daily Cougar

The plaza in front of the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theater is scheduled for repaving after showing signs of instability in itsunderlying layer. Construction is expected to be complete before the fall semester begins.

"What makes this driveway project different than others around campus is that there is concrete underneath everything from the pre-existing roadway, so it is important that there is not any clay in the dirt underneath the new concrete because it will expand and contract due to rainfall and other weather conditions," Chowdhury said.

"We here at the University disagree with the design of the system and have asked the architects to redesign it," he said.

Instead of using dirt, Chowdhury said construction crews should use a concrete slurry or crushed limestone like that used to support public roadways.

The architect has given the University three redesign options that are being priced by the general contractor. The options for the base material are hot-mix asphalt, cement stabilizer and recycled crushed concrete.

"There is only a small window of time in August to complete the project, between the end of the Children's Theatre (Festival) and the start of school," Chowdhury said. The University has not paid any additional money to the general contractor for the paving company's mistakes.

"It is a failure on the parts of the contractor and the architect, and the University will not spend any additional money except for the design change that was requested," Chowdhury said.

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