Winter storm causes delays in campus construction

Large signs adorn the construction site that is the future home of Chili’s on Alumni Avenue. Gary Mezaros, assistant vice president of Business and Auxiliary Services, said that he expects the restaurant to be completed by April 1. Gabriel Scarlett/HERALD

Emma Collins

As winter break comes to an end, construction continues across campus despite delays from inclement weather.

Three of the current projects, Topper Tavern and Grill, Chili’s Grill and Bar and the Confucius Institute, have made progress since the end of last semester.

According to Gary Meszaros, assistant vice president of Business and Auxiliary Services, construction on both the Topper Tavern and Chili’s has nearly reached completion. While both projects were slated to open this January, the recent snow and ice have pushed back the predicted opening dates.

Under the current estimate, Topper Tavern is expected to be finished in about two weeks, while Apr. 1 is the predicted completion date for Chili’s.

Regarding Topper Tavern, Bryan Russell, chief facilities officer, said all that remains is to get the furniture delivered and go through a permitting process once the furniture is in place.

Construction has also continued on the lot for a new building that will house the Confucius Institute.

Terrill Martin, managing director of the Confucius Institute, said the lot, which is located next to the Honors College and International Center, has already been leveled, and prep work to start construction is underway.

Martin predicts the actual construction of the building will begin in the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.

“The projected completion date is around August 2016,” said Martin.

Once completed, the one-story building will house several offices, an exhibition area and four classrooms. Three of the classrooms will be designated for independent learning rooms while the fourth will house a kitchen for demonstration cooking.

Offices in Helm Library currently occupied by the Confucius Institute will return to Helm upon completion of the new building.