Video | Construction begins on Armstrong Student Center

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Extreme College Makeover: Miami University Edition has begun on the Armstrong Student Center project.

Before anyone can shout "move that bus!" and reveal the brand new facility, key preliminary steps must first be completed.

The construction, which closed Spring Street in late October, is still blocking sidewalks. This represents the first stages in the creation of the Armstrong Student Center.

According to Jack Williams, senior project manager of the Armstrong Student Center, the extensive amount of work happening around the general area of Rowan Hall is being done entirely to set up the utility system for the Armstrong Student Center.

"Right now they're really just putting piping in to pick up storm water," Williams said. "The current system was not large enough to support the new student center. In fact, this has actually been a deficit in our system for a long time and this was an opportunity to fix it so that it is able to support a larger facility."

According to Williams, the closure of Spring Street was directly related to this system implementation.

"Spring Street was closed to complete this excavating and piping placement," Williams said. "More specifically, it was actually because they were going down Patterson with piping and so they had to get across the north side of Spring Street to access this."

John Seibert, project manager of the Armstrong Student Center, explained where the project is set to go from this point.

"We have about another month's worth of work installing the piping and restoring the grounds that we've impacted," Seibert said. "Once that work is done, you will not see any new work on this project until around next summer when we start work on the actual student center itself."

According to Seibert, the work done so far does not count as the official groundbreaking of the project.

This will likely occur in spring or summer 2011.

He said there will be minimal road closures in the near future.

"The only road we're going to close in this next month or so of work is Bishop Circle," Seibert said. "This road will be closed Monday, the 8th through Friday, the 12th and then again Monday, the 15th through Friday, the 18th."

Seibert said this is the last planned closure of a main road for the Armstrong Student Center project. He said this closure is necessary for workers to place water mains and other piping for the future student center around the area. He said certain sidewalks could see periods of closure in the future also.

Sophomore Lacey Schmidt has found the construction somewhat inconvenient.

"I didn't realize that I had to walk all the way around the construction, so I was actually late to a class," Schmidt said. "They really need to let people know what they're working on. I thought they were just fixing the sidewalks, which don't really need fixing. Had I known they were working on the new student center, I probably wouldn't have been so upset by it."

Susanne Sadler, director of development for the Armstrong Student Center, said she hopes the construction hasn't been too disruptive in any way and urged students to cooperate.

Sadler said while the work done so far may not seem like much, it is still an exciting early step.

"I think that this work is a great sign that this project is moving forward," Sadler said. "It truly is the beginning stages of a brand new student center."