Major MSU Construction Approved By Board

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EAST LANSING (WILX)- The joke of construction being a single season doesn't apply to MSU. It's a year-round event where orange barrels seem to outnumber students at times.

Soon we're going to see a lot more of those orange barrels. The University Board green-lighted the second half of a big project that will take place at the busiest part of campus, the IM Circle.

This summer West Circle Drive near the library and IM building will be closed for steam tunnel construction once school gets out.

"It's an inconvenience. It's always been construction since I've been here, and I've lived here 4 years. I would prefer a perfect campus with not too much construction," said MSU Senior India Smith.

The more than 60 million dollar project was started last year on the north side of the circle by the Union. Phase 2 is already in progress near the music building, and the 3 and 4th phase were approved by the board Friday. President Lou Anna Simon says the tunnels are more than 100 years old, and have to be replaced no matter what the cost..

"They are old and crumbling. A failure would mean we would lose communication heat, and power for a significant portion of the campus," said Simon.

Phase 3 will begin next year and phase 4 will start early 2015.

"The plan is to get as much done in the summer, but some cannot be done like the beginning of the vaults by the IM Circle," said Simon

The work should be completed by late 2015, a lengthy process that the university says will ensure safety for students in the future.

The board approved a number of other construction projects Friday. Renovations to Akers and Butterfield halls, and a major upgrade to parking lot 67 by Jenison Field House were just a few of the other items approved.

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