ILC excavation is on schedule, officials say
The continuous excavation of the east UA Mall area, once delayed by inclement weather, has been running smoothly, while Memorial Student Union demolition continues to stall, UA officials said.
"The ILC seems to be going ahead right on schedule," said Sharon Kha, a University of Arizona spokeswoman.
Five nights a week, large dump trucks remove dirt from the area on an average of once every three minutes.
When the excavation is finished, nearly 100,000 square feet of dirt will have been removed from the mall.
"We (UA officials) talk to the contractor every week, and they feel that the excavation has not run into any problems," she said.
In early September, digging was temporarily stopped because of a late monsoon season and 12 palm trees that needed to be moved.
Associated Students President Cisco Aguilar said he is satisfied with the progress of the ILC project.
"I actually looked at the hole yesterday before the game, and it is obvious that they are making progress," he said. "While it is a disturbance to our daily lives as students, it is definitely important for us."
In other construction-related news, the Memorial Student Union demolition has been held off indefinitely until the asbestos abatement is complete.
The roof area, which is the final portion of the asbestos abatement project, should begin soon.
"The (abatement) of the roof starts Monday," said Colleen Morgan, health and safety officer from UA Risk Management and Safety. "They have to abate the penthouse, which is adjacent to the union club."
Morgan said that the abatement was held off due to other construction needs.
"They were doing duct reworking (last week), which needs to be done before further abatement can happen," she said.
Aguilar said student union construction is progressing "slowly but surely."
"It is more difficult to see the progress of the student union, because it is behind the walls," he said. "It's not like the ILC where you can see exactly what is going on. Still, progress is happening."
The next major construction project should be starting soon. Thirty new "Blue light telephones" will be built throughout the UA campus area.
"They'll be starting sometime in the next few weeks," Kha said.
Kha said these telephones will provide UA students with increased safety.