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Building 16 Changes To Begin in January

Erik Balsley--The Tech
Building 56, which has been under construction since the fall of 1995, will reopen when Building 16 closes in early January.

By Erik S. Balsley
sports editor

Renovations to Building 16 and Building 56 will continue, with Building 16 closing in early January to accommodate the construction of a major indoor route to Building 26.

Building 56, which has been under construction since the fall of 1995, will reopen when Building 16 closes.

"We have to shut down access to 26-100 through Building 16 for the month of January for asbestos removal," said Nancy Joyce, project manager for Beacon Construction Company, the outside contractor in charge of the project.

After the removal is complete, a temporary tunnel will be created through the first floor of Building 16 to provide access to 26-100, Joyce said.

However, the tunnel will not provide as "free or open access as what is there now," Joyce said.

The passageway will remain open throughout the spring term. However during the summer, the connection will not be accessible because of construction work on the first floor lobby.

During the construction, "it's going to be awkward to get to Building 26," Joyce said.

To lessen confusion while the work is taking place, plans will be posted showing alternate routes through the area, she said.

Athena cluster will move

Closing off Building 16 will eliminate an Athena cluster in the basement there. The cluster is moving to 56-129, Joyce said.

The construction will close access to classrooms, as well, so alternate ones in Building 56 will be made available, Joyce said.

The renovation of Building 16 will include the addition of many new amenities. The changes will also make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act legislation, Joyce said.

The project will add a ramp in the basement between Building 8 and 16 and an elevator to connect the floors between the two buildings, she said.

The elevator will allow for handicapped access between the different floors of the building. The new ramp will eliminate several turns in the existing one.

The lobby of Building 16 will also be renovated. Anew vending machine area will be constructed on the first floor, along with a new entry vestibule and loading dock. The company in charge of the existing machine is currently looking for alternate locations to place it during construction, perhaps in front of 26-100, Joyce said.

The renovations will begin in January after current occupants in the building are moved. They will be moved primarily to Building 56, starting Jan. 6, Joyce said. The renovations to Building 16 will be finished in early 1998.

LSC will be affected

The renovations may also cause difficulty for the operations of the Lecture Series Committee, which currently shows films in 26-100 during the term. The group has been in close contact with Joyce throughout the planning of the project to discuss potential difficulties.

The closing of the first floor lobby will cause difficulties in how LSC sells movie tickets at the shows. "We're going to have to move our ticket selling closer to the doors," said LSC Chairman William J. Gehrke '97. "It will be an inconvenience but not as big as a problem as the refreshments room," which is where LSC's popcorn and soda machines are stored, he said.

The refreshments room is currently located in Building 56. "Because we can't get into Building 16, we'll have to move the popcorn and soda machines well out of our way to get into [26-100]," said LSC Chairman William J. Gehrke '97.

The machines may have to be brought outside to avoid the construction, which might result in damage because of inclement weather, Gehrke said.