by Robert Sanders
Several high-profile building projects underway this fall promise much improved facilities down the road. The most obvious is the expansion of the old Harmon Gymnasium into a larger basketball arena. Financed solely with private funds, the new $42 million Haas Pavilion will seat 11,000 to 12,000.
That's nearly double the current capacity of about 6,700.
Student and staff patrons of the Recreational Sports Facility have had to move into temporary locker and shower rooms while the renovation is underway, but they will return to new quarters after project completion now set for January 1998.
In the center of campus, Memorial Glade will begin to look like a real glade thanks to $700,000 in gifts from the classes of '45, '46 and '47. The centerpiece will be a memorial pool in memory of members of the campus community who lost their lives in World War II, surrounded by a landscape of woodlands and glades in keeping with the character of the center of campus.
The project will re-establish the missing link in the series of "outdoor rooms" that comprise the Central Glade corridor from Oxford Street on the west to Gayley Road on the east.
Ongoing seismic repairs on the main library early in the fall semester will force the temporary relocation of several Doe Library services. The interior of Doe Library is still in the process of demolition-a dramatic scene visible through windows cut into plastic partitions in the basement-and seismic improvements have already begun. Planned completion is February of next year.
Meanwhile, on the north side of campus, McCone Hall is receiving a long-overdue seismic upgrade along with renovation of space allotted to several departments, including geography, geology and the Seismographic Station. Seismic work is also set to start around the end of summer on the Dance Facility, 2401 Bancroft Way. The former First Unitarian Church was built in 1898 and is a registered historic landmark.
The humanities can look forward to moving into new office space in January, after completion of an $11.5 million renovation and expansion of Dwinelle Hall. The project provides two extra floors plus state-of-the-art computer communication.
Unseen but vitally important to the university, the campus's communications network as a whole will be getting an upgrade with construction of new underground conduits for fiber optic and copper cables. The upgrade will take several years for the entire campus, but in the end will provide greater capacity for telecommunications and data transfer.
Finally, in the hills above campus is the nearly completed expanded Silver Laboratory. It provides new labs and offices devoted to space science research. The new structure replaces run-down trailers with names like Venus and Mars that squatted behind the original building. The project should be completed by December.