Construction Update: New science building, housing and a unified quad

Tate Weston, Contributing Reporter

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With the completion of The Commons, the Tulane administration has started finalizing plans for several new building operations. 

Patrick Norton, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Tulane University, manages the project. He explained that Tulane is focused on three main initiatives: Housing Phase I, the construction of a new science building and the Unified Green.

Housing Phase I is a new housing initiative designed to address the renovation and demolition of Paterson Residence Hall, Irby Residence Hall and Phelps Residence Hall. The initiative has an expected completion date of summer 2022. 

According to Norton, the initiative will entail the addition of 728 new beds on the Bruff Commons site.

Sofia Viscuso | Photography Editor

Plans for the new science building, dubbed “Paul Hall,” are still tentative. As planned, it would finish construction in summer 2022.

“Paul Hall, potentially a 77,000-square foot science and engineering building on the site of Building 14 on the Academic Quad … will house labs, a large classroom and an animal research facility,” Norton said. 

Unified Green is a plan to merge the Berger Family Lawn and Newcomb Quad through the use of hardscape, plantings and lighting. The initiative’s completion is expected late summer or early fall 2020. 

“Total projected costs for the projects is $145 million,” Norton said. 

Norton is confident, however, that the Tulane administration will be able to complete the projects without negatively impacting student life.  

“We always strive to minimize the impact of construction on our students … We also prohibit our contractors from noise-generating work before 8 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m., with few exceptions. Further, we prohibit any work from taking place on job sites during quiet/study days and exams,” he said. 

Norton also noted that Tulane has a specific plan for addressing any temporary parking concerns. 

“We are paving and striping the lots behind [Howard-Tilton Memorial Library] and will have additional spaces available in the Loyola Parking Garage.  We are also exploring alternative sites away from campus for parking at a discounted rate with a shuttle to bring people to campus,” Norton said.