In early September a neighborhood friend told me that, as a prelude to their workday, McCarthy Bros. Construction Company workers practice yoga each morning at the east end of Washington University’s Danforth Campus. Thinking that would make for an interesting story, I drove out to the campus early on 2 consecutive mornings but was unable to locate any construction workers doing sun salutations. It’s difficult to traverse the campus these days with all the construction fencing surrounding the site, and at that hour of the day the campus was deserted and there was no one around to ask.
Instead, because I was curious about what’s going on on the east end of the campus, I decided to change the focus and share what I’ve learned about W.U.’s East End Transformation project.
Due to the limited access, the only photograph I could get of the construction site was a distant view, see photo above.
At 6:30 a.m. there was already a long line of dump trucks waiting to turn into the construction site from Skinker Boulevard.
This past summer, during the peak of excavation work, there were 1,000 trucks a day hauling away dirt for a 790-car underground parking garage (which will be accessible from both Skinker and Forest Park Blvds.). At that time there were construction crews working 6 days a week 2 shifts per day. Here are some fun facts titled “The Dirt on Dirt” found on Campus Next newsletter.
Some of the dirt, which was stockpiled on what has been nicknamed Mount McKelvey, above right, will be used as backfill for the project which is scheduled to be completed by graduation of 2019. The underground garage will be completed and in use at an earlier date.
photo courtesy of Hannah Roth
Thanks to CWEnder Hannah Roth, who is on the faculty of the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, and who agreed to take photos of the construction site from an upper floor of a building overlooking the site, above and below.
photo courtesy of Hannah Roth
Construction has caused a parking nightmare for faculty and students alike. Forest Park has long been a popular place to park for WU students, but now both sides of Skinker Blvd. are lined with cars almost as far south as Clayton Road as well.
W.U. Sam Fox School lecturer Ben Kiel, above, created a clever solution to the parking problem. He drives his daughters to school, parks his car on the lot at his CWE studio where he keeps his bike, and then bikes to and from the campus (wearing a helmet of course).
Kiel’s logo for his side business, XYZ Type, is affixed to his Ikea bike (assembly was required).
The sign on construction fencing at W. U. contains a quote from CWEnder Mary Ann Lazarus who’s also on the faculty. She describes what’s behind the East End Transformation project, above.
The following two photos were taken from the W. U. website. For more information I’m including a link to what’s ahead in the coming months.
Here is more information on the buildings under construction as shown on the master plan, above.