From bulldozing to laying bricks, much of Miami University’s campus turned into a construction site while students were away this past summer. Several alterations were made to areas on campus, including ongoing work to the Armstrong Student Center and the finishing touches on two brand new buildings, MapleStreet Station and Etheridge Hall.
The newest addition to the MET Quad is Etheridge Hall, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified residence hall. First-years moved into Etheridge, on Aug. 23 and Resident Assistants (RAs) moved in on Aug. 21, according to RA, Lauren Siegler.
Although both buildings are now open, Etheridge is still working out the kinks, said Siegler.
“The hall was deemed unlivable, so we stayed a week and a half in MapleStreet Station before moving in,” she said.
Siegler also noted that common areas and some kitchens are without furniture, there have been several problems with outlets and cable not working and the air conditioning has been temperamental.
“It only goes down to 70 degrees and, to me, that is not considered a comfortable temperature to live or sleep,” she said.
Next to Etheridge Hall is MapleStreet Station, Miami’s brand new dining facility with residences on the second floor. MapleStreet Station is replacing Hamilton and Scott Dining Halls.
The building opened up right on schedule, but still has a few pieces of furniture to move in and other details to finalize.
Overall, Siegler said the halls are in great condition and offer a unique setup, including houses in each corridor with their own kitchenette, bathrooms, living room and eating area.
“Etheridge is absolutely beautiful and most definitely is not comparable to other dorms because it is so different,” she said.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated addition to campus is the Armstrong Student Center, located across the street from Shriver.
According to Katie Wilson, director of the Armstrong Student Center, the area has been a very busy with construction all summer.
“As you can see by walking by, there has been a lot of progress on the exterior sidewalks and courtyards,” she said.
Some of this work affects walkability around that area. According to Rick Russell, project manager for the Armstrong Student Center, the pedestrian restrictions around the building shall remain the same as they are now through the completion of the project, which will be in October. This includes closed sidewalks on Spring Street and limited access around the building’s perimeter.
Other than that, Russell said construction to the Armstrong Student Center is progressing without a hitch.
Wilson explained the updates have been made to the first building at Miami designed solely for students.
“If you look closely at the east side of the old Rowan hall, you can see the chimney for the new fireplace that will serve both indoors and outdoors,” she said. “Inside, the walls have all been built and many have been painted, tile is being installed, light fixtures, doors and ceilings.”
Construction is scheduled to be finished in early October and other interior work like installing all of the furniture, audio-visual, kitchen equipment and graphic design packages will take place throughout the fall semester.
After that, student organizations and departments with office space in the building will move in during the winter semester.
“The Armstrong Student Center will begin 24-hour operation on January 27,” Wilson said. “There will be two weeks of events and activities designed to introduce the campus and community to the exciting new space.”
The Armstrong Student Center will celebrate its opening with a campus-wide celebration scheduled for Feb. 7, 2014.