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Breezeway construction end date pushed back

Water damage means renovations will last until early 2018.

The+end+date+of+Breezeway+construction+has+been+pushed+due+to+water+damage+found+during+work.+Brandon+Harrington+%7C+Contributing+Photographer+
The end date of Breezeway construction has been pushed due to water damage found during work. Brandon Harrington | Contributing Photographer

The end date of Breezeway construction has been pushed due to water damage found during work. Brandon Harrington | Contributing Photographer

Brandon Harrington

Brandon Harrington

The end date of Breezeway construction has been pushed due to water damage found during work. Brandon Harrington | Contributing Photographer

Thomas Chiles and Sean Fann

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As new students join the Boca Raton campus, the first thing they are greeted with is a big fence surrounding the ongoing Breezeway construction. That fact will not change anytime soon, as the projected end date has been pushed back to next year.

Originally scheduled to be completed in November 2017, the projected completion date has been pushed back to January 2018, according to a Feb. 15 FAU major projects status report. The budget has also increased to $4.4 million from the original estimate of $3.45 million.

“It’s been going on a while,” said Ladd Brown, a freshman mechanical engineering student. “It’s just when they are working on it, it’s kind of annoying.”

Loud banging and grinding buzzsaws can be a distraction to students such as Ladd who study outside near the Breezeway.

Numa Rais, FAU director of design and construction services and project manager of the Breezeway renovations, said that the construction team’s budget and schedule were affected by unforeseen structural problems.

“We discovered the presence of water in hollow core slabs on the second floor of the Breezeway,” Rais wrote in an email. “We had to design and engineer several processes to repair steel and concrete in various areas.”

According to Rais, the cost of the renovations increased due to the work that would need to be put into the water damaged areas.

“Renovations of older structures are more complicated than erecting a new building,” Rais wrote. “Issues will arise as construction progresses.”

Breezeway construction began in June 2016. Many upperclassmen were accustomed to having access to all of the features the Breezeway had to offer.

“I’m sad it’s happening while we are graduating,” senior psychology major Shantika Dykes said. “A DJ used to be out there playing music to relieve some stress but now it is just all stress.”

Senior journalism major Will Deckler said that he was surprised to hear the construction date had been pushed back even further.

“That’s ridiculous,” Will said. “It’s too long of a projection. It’s unfortunate for the seniors who can’t use the Breezeway for their last year.”

Other students, such as anthropology graduate student Ryan Steeves, have accepted the construction and the lengthy time table that comes with it.

“I suppose I’m indifferent,” Steeves said. “I just have to walk slightly around. It’s definitely a first-world problem.”

Although the construction has burdened students who travel through the Breezeway regularly, they are willing to put up with the inconveniences if it means a positive end result.

While senior Brittany Stevens said it takes too long to walk through the makeshift walkways everyday, she is also aware of a potential hazard the old Breezeway possessed.

“I slipped multiple times in there,” Stevens said, pointing towards the fenced off Breezeway outside Chick-fil-A.

Construction will include roof renovations to prevent leaks and puddling of water as well as waterproofing the rest of the walkway.

Junior finance major Mike Wetzel is going through his first semester on campus after transferring from Palm Beach State College and he has never seen the Breezeway unbarricaded.

“It makes things slower and it’s not too inconvenient, but I wish it wasn’t there,” Wetzel said. “I’ll be happy when it’s done.”

Thomas Chiles is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email tchiles2013@fau.edu or tweet him @thomas_iv.

Sean Fann is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email sfann2016@fau.edu.

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