Construction projects underway on campus; expected completion by fall 2022


A construction wall put in Anderson Dining Hall as construction begins. Photo Credit: Carson Gates.

Michaela DeLauter and Carson Gates

As the spring semester winds down, construction on campus begins to ramp up. Many students at Chatham University’s Shadyside campus can view the beginning of construction, the biggest project focusing on Anderson Dining Hall.

 Many of these projects, including the Anderson Dining Hall, were expected to be completed in summer 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the supply-chain shortage, some projects were postponed until this year when Chatham University was able to safely ensure it had all the resources available to complete them.

A $4.3 million budget is what is in store for the dining hall, with improvements being centered on the overall student experience.

Anderson “was clearly top of the priority list because it clicked off so many boxes. From efficiency to student service to recruiting, it really does a lot for us,” said Vice President of Finance and Administration Walter Fowler.

Some of the changes students will start to see in fall 2022 include a complete layout overhaul, food prep visibility and more seating for the Chatham community.

“We tried to do the things we heard students wanted done first,” Fowler said.

For students living on campus during the summer months, the University will utilize the white tent located outside the Mellon Board Room. This tent will be air-conditioned, with portable bathrooms located nearby. For any reason the Anderson Dining Hall project is delayed, the use of the white tent will continue until construction is finished.

“Everything needs to be completed by the time students get back,” said Director of Facilities Management and Public Safety Robert DuBray.

A laundry room expected to be renovated by Fall 2022. Photo Credit: Carson Gates

The project is slated to be wrapped up by the first week in August. To give the construction timeline some breathing room, work has already begun at the dining hall. Large partition walls have been placed on one section of the room. These walls are covered in large pictures of future plans that are part of Chatham’s 10-year plan.

The Shadyside campus will have more changes than just the dining hall renovations by the time students return in August.

“There’s probably 60-plus projects that we are going to start here both big and small. It takes a lot of coordination, a lot of effort,” Dubray said. “We will be tearing out kitchens, we will be tearing off roofs, we will be removing windows. These are all things we can’t do when people occupy the building.”

The residence halls will see most of these improvements, along with the addition of new washing machines and dryers.

Classrooms also will be getting an upgrade. There will be a new classroom in Braun Hall, as well as updated desks and furniture in room C134 of Coolidge Hall.

Students will also see work resume with the Chapel Hill stormwater project toward the end of April. The long-awaited end will include the road and sidewalk being repaved in broken areas, and shrubbery added to the landscape. This unfinished construction halted this winter the student tradition of sledding down Chapel Hill.

“That project should be done completely and look beautiful by mid May,” Fowler said.

Finally, the parking lot will be getting a makeover with fresh pavement and concrete pads being added. 

All of the construction should not alter the day-to-day lives of students remaining on the Shadyside campus. Most of the residence halls that will be updated will not have students living in them. 

“We have a very short window of opportunity to get these things done,” Dubray said.

The ongoing supply chain issue is still affecting some of these current project plans.

“These are challenging times,” Dubray said. However, his focus is still on the betterment of the Chatham community. 

“It’s always rewarding to see a project completed and to see the students using it.”