Caution! Construction Ahead!


Matthew Wynkoop

Road closed for construction

Take caution when entering campus! The intersection of College Avenue and O Street will be under construction. The parking lot to the EAB will still be open, but students will need to enter from the College Avenue main entrance. The work officially began September 26, and is expected to end around Monday, October 24. Signs are in place letting drivers know that the road is closed and that detours will be necessary.

In regard to what actually is being done at the closed off intersection, Daniel Barlup, Facilities Supervisor CEFP, has the answers. Barlup explained it was replacing damaged piping in the ground that supplies hot water throughout the campus. “We need to dig up the street out there. All of our major infrastructure piping, whether it’s water, gas, electric, data, everything is underground on this campus,” said Barlup.

In order to maintain the flow of hot water throughout campus, the repair is necessary. For instance, the CUB has showers for athletes and obviously the option for hot water is essential. Without the repaired piping in the ground, this would not be possible. The pipe being used is also notable because it’s “a newer design of pipe. We’re actually the first campus to try it. Only us and University Park has central plants out of all the commonwealth campuses,” Barlup added.

For students and professors, this construction may cause drivers to seek alternative routes. Luckily, there are many different entrances into campus that will still allow for students to get to their classes in a timely manner. One alternative route available is University Drive, which connects Sheetz and CVS to the handicapped lot in front of the Olmsted Building. From here, students can turn left at the stop sign which leads to the large parking lot behind Olmsted. From that parking lot, students can either go back down University Drive or go the opposite way and head down Olmsted Drive, which goes down the other side of Olmsted and behind the Library. Olmsted Drive goes the whole way down past the Olmsted Building and the Swatara Building and parking office.

For many students entering campus, Wharton Avenue would be the best bet. This road can be accessed off North Union Street which spans down to the Middletown square and the Middletown Area schools. This route allows for students to get to the Olmsted Building and most of the other buildings without issue; however, there will likely be traffic on Wharton Avenue depending on time of day as that tends to be a popular route. Students can still use at the main entrance onto College Avenue, but must make the first right onto Olmsted Drive to avoid construction.

Students and staff members may be curious about the timing of this project and why it was not done during the summer when there were not a lot of classes. “The goal was to replace the pipe in the summer. Unfortunately, we ordered the pipe in March. It just showed up two weeks ago,” Barlup explained. “We are actually delaying some other phases of the project until next summer, so we don’t impact the campus anymore than we have to.”

Unfortunately for students and staff, more construction on campus will be occurring in the future. “There is more pipe out here. We need to increase the piping coming from the building that runs through the grass out to a manhole that’s out in the field. We have to increase that size because as we add more buildings, we need to get more capacity out of the plant out into the campus,” explains Barlup.

Students and staff should keep an eye out for an email from Dan Barlup or Kelly M. Bell, Administrative Support Coordinator, with information regarding future construction. Additional questions about the current construction occurring on campus should be directed to Maintenance and Operations at 717-948-6235. Barlup can be contacted by email at [email protected] or through the same phone number listed above. 

Main pipes that flow hot water throughout the campus (Matthew Wynkoop)
New piping that will be installed (Matthew Wynkoop)