Tunnel Construction Making Campus Better


(Photo by Chris Ayers)

(Photo by Chris Ayers)
(Photo by Chris Ayers)


Students were surprised to find their daily walk to the stadium disrupted by upgrades to the tunnel connecting campus to Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Shireen Ghorbani, communications specialist for facilities management on campus, explained the importance of the change and shared her excitement for the project.

“Our campus is going through a few large upgrades to make our campus more modern,” Ghorbani said. “The disruptions in the stadium tunnel are part of a larger electric overhaul that we at facilities are very happy about.”

The changes made in the tunnel are intended to serve as support for the rest of campus. The new wiring in the tunnel is meant to connect to one of the electric substations, Ghorbani said. The substations are interconnected to serve as back-up energy for each other in case of an outage.

“We have three separate substations that control the power for different parts of campus,” Ghorbani said. “If for some reason a certain area were to lose power, because of the new upgrades, we can now channel that energy to other parts of campus.”

Ghorbani explained the work done in the tunnel was the last piece they needed to upgrade and connect the substations.

James Clark, a junior in engineering, said he hoped construction wouldn’t interfere with his walk.

“I take the TRAX almost every day to get to campus and the best stop to get me where I am going is the stadium,” Clark said, “It’s already hard enough having to avoid all of the construction at the law building and walking all the way up to the tunnel. It would certainly make things more difficult if they blocked off any more of it.”

Carol Berrey, a House Bill 60 student, reminisced on a time before the tunnel.

“I attended the U right after the war. Back then, though, all of campus was growing and new buildings were going up like weeds,” Berrey said, “I know some kids complain about these changes, but I welcome them. Back in my day new construction meant moving forward which is something everyone should embrace.”

Sarah Albertson, a visiting high school senior from Olympus High, wondered what these construction impacts would have on her enrollment.

“I am for sure coming to the U in the fall, and it’s crazy to see how much is changing,” Albertson said, “I came to the U this last football season to catch a game in September, and campus just looks so different, I can’t wait to see what else is going to be different.”

Ghorbani encouraged students and faculty to visit the facilities website at http://facilities.utah.edu/projects/index.php for more information on construction projects campus wide.

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