College updates infrastructure as it eyes big athletic facility

MIDDLEBURY — On the Middlebury College campus, crews are hard at work on a number of summer construction projects.
Dean of the College Tim Spears said last week that work along Route 30, in front of the Mahaney Center for the Arts, is dedicated to rerouting some of the underground utilities that run from the main campus to the arts center and the college’s athletics facilities. It’s a routine project, he said, but it’s also work that needed to be done in advance of a major construction project that will upgrade the college’s athletics facilities. That project will replace the 10-year-old “Bubble,” an inflatable dome that currently hosts a squash facility and indoor track.
Earlier this month, college administrators filed an Act 250 permit request with the state Agency of Natural Resources for the construction of a 19,700-square-foot squash court, which will make up part of the larger 100,000-square-foot athletics facility project. The new building will also include a 21,000-square-foot indoor field and track. The facility will replace the existing 40,640-square-foot dome.
Spears said the projected timeline for the construction estimates a spring 2013 start and a late 2013 or early 2014 end, but that the college has not yet moved past the planning stages. He said the college is still seeking funding for the project, estimated in February to carry a $46 million price tag.
And Spears said the college is also dismantling a lounge in order to expand its fitness center to two floors, which will happen after summer language school classes end in August.
Across campus, along College Street, the college is also doing work on underground steam lines.
“We’re repairing and maintaining,” said Spears. “It’s standard maintenance.”
Indoors, the Middlebury College Museum of Art is also closed for summer renovation. It is slated to reopen Sept. 3.
Spears said all of the construction projects are on schedule to be finished by the start of the fall semester in September.

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