By Jordan Boitnott
Several renovations and upgrades will occur at Youngstown State University this year. The largest improvements will be for the pedestrian bridges on campus.
The roof will be replaced at Stavich Family Bridge, which connects the Wick Avenue parking deck to Meshel Hall and the rest of campus, and the roof will also be replaced on the bridge connecting Cushwa Hall and Moser Hall.
Rich White, director of planning and construction at YSU, said projects are planned at times to affect as few people as possible. The majority of the renovations will take place over the summer between the middle of May and middle of August.
“Typically, we try to do things over the summer just because it’s less disruption with not as many students around,” he said.
White said students in summer classes will experience some inconveniences.
“They might have to walk around to another entrance … particularly with the bridges. We are going to close the bridges down while we work on them, so they will have to go around or either cut through the buildings,” he said.
Joey Pezzano, a junior engineering major, said he has witnessed continual construction during his time as a student.
Wick Avenue was under construction for over a year and completed in November 2017, while a block along Wick Avenue between Lincoln and Rayen avenues has seen much renovation, including the addition of The Enclave student apartments next to Chipotle and Mercy Health Wick Primary Care at YSU.
“The biggest change was Wick Avenue because I commute here. Wick Avenue being closed [had] a big effect on my driving. I think things have gotten better, adding a lot of new food places like Chipotle,” Pezzano said.
He also takes summer classes and said he is going to be affected by the Stavich Bridge roof replacement.
“I park in [the] Wick deck and I take a summer class, so the bridge being shut down, not being able to walk on it, is going to take a little bit longer to get to campus. But it is not going to be detrimental,” Pezzano said.
According to White, other renovations will include roof replacements on many buildings around campus.
Additionally, Ward Beecher Hall will have structural repairs to the basement, while restrooms around campus will also be improved.
New lighting will be installed in the pool in the Beeghly Center Natatorium, and many of the doors in Maag Library will be replaced.
A sprinkler system will also be installed in Fedor Hall. Stambaugh Stadium locker rooms will be upgraded.
While the renovations will improve many facilities and buildings on campus, they will cost between $25 to $27 million, according to White.
He said the university receives money from the state and other outlets to fund renovation projects.
“We typically get biannually, every two years, $25 million from the state. Some of the projects going on were locally funded or funded by grants,” White said.
John Hyden, associate vice president of facilities maintenance, provided an update on the Fifth Avenue project.
“There will be a center island, turn lanes, bus pull-offs, which will make it more pedestrian-friendly,” he said.
The project will most likely be finished in the “late, late fall” of 2020, Hyden said in a Dec. 5, 2019, Jambar article.
The construction process should be better than Wick Avenue, according to Hyden.
“There’s no deep work and it’s all basically on the surface,” he said in the article. “It’ll be dusty, inconvenient, hopefully not quite as confusing.”
Hyden said he spoke with Facilities Maintenance and Support Services to ensure traffic control will run smoothly.