Starting in October, a portion of the Bryan Center plaza will shut down for the next two years.
A central and often lively location on campus, part of the Plaza will shut down to initiate an approximately four-month long demolition of the West Union building that will be followed by a reconstruction phase expected to last until December 2015, said Paul Manning, director of the office of project management. Students and faculty will be unable to access the area once the bridge from the residential quad is destroyed.
"Once the demolition actually begins, the whole area has to be contained so the traffic will be routed around through the Kilgo quad side or around part of the Chapel," Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said.
Manning said the Plaza will be closed from the three archways on the residential quad up to a temporary partition that will be set up on the west end of the Great Hall at the wooden deck.
If the renovations go as planned, the reconstruction phase should be completed in December 2015.
Some students are concerned about the implications of the construction over the next few years.
"I think that'll be terribly inconvenient, actually," sophomore Zohaib Shaikh said. "It's the main entrance to the plaza— especially because it's connected to all the residence quads."
He also noted that the West Union renovations have already disrupted student life.
"Many eateries are completely gone now such as Subway, Chick-fil-a and Dillo, and not as many eateries came to campus this semester, so I feel like we don't have as many options as we used to," Shaikh said.
The University has made efforts to maintain aesthetics and allay the inconvenience of the renovations.
Manning noted that construction will proceed from 8 a.m. to approximately 6 or 7 p.m. as a measure to reduce the impact of noise pollution from the construction. In addition, the lights inside the West Union building are kept on at night to increase safety. The wall currently around the building will stay up for the duration of construction.
"We're going to have the construction fencing both around the library and the West Union the next few years, so we might as well make it look good," Moneta said.
Despite his qualms about the projected inconveniences, Shaikh is optimistic about the outcomes.
"Construction is kind of unsightly around campus, but in the long term it'll probably be worth it for what it will be in the future," Shaikh said.
Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that only part of the Bryan Center plaza will be shut down during the construction.