Sections of the G lot parking space will be shut down over the next few weeks due to construction that will tie the campus back into National Grid.
The construction work in the lot, which adjoins the Joe Bruno Stadium and Stadium Classroom Building, started last Monday. Workers will close off small sections of the lot at a time, making them inaccessible for a day or two.
The Physical Plant has been making changes to campus power systems in order to stabilize the power and reduce blackouts. The construction underway in the G lot is a “part of the electrical portion of the upgrade,” said Richard Edwards, director of the Physical Plant.
The majority of campus buildings are currently powered by the cogeneration plant on campus, the only exception being the Science Center, which is powered by National Grid. Although the campus has essentially been off-grid since the cogeneration plant’s construction, administration decided that allowing National Grid to take on more of the campus’s power needs would benefit the campus. This is due, in part, to the inconsistency of power on campus.
Tying back into National Grid requires linking the cogeneration plant to the National Grid switch. The cogeneration plant is on North Drive, while the switch is located over on South Drive, so the connection lines need to be planted under the parking lot.
According to Edwards, the construction will be done in sections in order to leave areas for students to park. Edwards says that the plan was made after he noticed that large parts of the lot remained empty throughout the year.
Administration asks students to “proceed with caution and follow instructions from any flagmen directing traffic flow.”
Edwards hopes to have the overall project accomplished by next spring. “You’ll see very little activity after the [work in the] parking lot; that is, the students and college won’t be impacted by much of what we do after this,” he said.