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Student housing construction making steady progress

A construction worker adds shingles to the roof of one of the student housing buildings. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)
A construction worker adds shingles to the roof of one of the student housing buildings. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)

JACKSON, Tenn.April 15, 2008 – Construction on Union’s new student housing complex is on schedule, according to Gary Carter, Union’s senior vice president for business and financial services.

Nine of the 14 buildings in the complex are under construction and in various stages of completion. The two buildings where the most work has been done are in the process of being bricked and having windows installed. Construction crews will hang sheet rock in those buildings later this week.

“It is amazing,” Carter said about the speed of the construction process. “The contractors are doing an exceptional job coordinating the ongoing construction process.”

Of the nine buildings being worked on, six of them have the rafters up, Carter said. Of those six, construction workers have finished adding shingles to two of them. They will begin adding shingles to two more buildings this week. Carter estimated that 20-25 percent of the entire project is complete.

The new student housing facility is located in the former location of the Watters and Hurt complexes, which were demolished because of heavy damages sustained in the Feb. 5 tornado that hit Union’s campus. The facility will house more than 700 students when it is fully complete. Union is expecting at least half of the 14 buildings to be ready for students by Sept. 1.

The apartment-style rooms in the new housing complex, designed by TLM Associates, will feature four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchenette and a washer/dryer in each suite. Each building in the complex will contain 40, 48 or 56 bedrooms. All bathrooms in the bottom-floor apartments will be reinforced to provide storm shelters for students.

The complex will ultimately consist of four “quads” with four buildings in each quad. Initial plans call for the completion of two quads, plus three buildings in each of the two remaining quads. A men’s commons and a women’s commons building will complete each of the final two quads after the rest of the buildings are finished. All rooms will open to the inside of the quad, providing added security.

Worsham Brothers Construction Co. of Corinth, Miss., and Brasfield Construction Co. of Jackson, Tenn., are the two contractors building the complex. Dement Construction did the site work for the facility.

MG Construction Co. is handling the repairs to the Gray and Dodd buildings in the McAfee housing complex. Those two buildings, which contain 18 total apartments, have been reframed and will be ready for student use by Sept. 1.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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