Throughout the summer, the University has continued to make progress on various ongoing construction projects across campus while also planning for new projects.
Capstone Parking Deck
One main undertaking nearing completion is the Capstone Parking Deck, located next to Sewell-Thomas Stadium and Butler Field. The deck will provide additional parking for students, faculty and staff, and for events held at Coleman Coliseum, Sewell-Thomas Stadium and the Bryant Conference Center, adding approximately 1,010 parking spaces.
Much of UA’s construction is focused around Bryce Lawn, where older buildings have been stabilized and remain at various stages of construction.
Peter Bryce Hospital was established in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1861 as the Alabama Insane Hospital. The building used to house up to 286 mentally disabled patients. On May 27, 2010, The University of Alabama acquired Peter Bryce Hospital to its campus and in 2014, the University began construction on the Bryce Lawn campus, including the hospital and Harper Center.
In December 2017, a campaign was created to tackle an ambitious project on Bryce Lawn: to transform the old hospital into a performing arts center. But two and a half years later, walls have yet to go up on the building’s iconic wings. Communications director Megan Whitten said the project isn’t stalled and that teams are still working in the building.
“We’re doing a historic renovation to the building and we need to do it right,” Whitten said.
When completed, the building will be the host of two mental health and university museums, auditoriums and performance spaces, event venues and performing arts classrooms.
Closer to the Quad, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library is receiving major renovations to update and restore various areas of the building. According to UA News, Gorgas is “undergoing upgrades to its restrooms and elevators to address core infrastructure needs.” In addition to infrastructural upgrades, the library will also receive a makeover in many areas, including updates to the Java City coffee bar, new flooring, lighting, paint and furniture.
Alston and Bidgood Halls
The Culverhouse College of Business is looking to enhance its classroom experience with improvements to Alston and Bidgood Hall. Alston Hall will receive upgrades to Rooms 10, 20 and 30 this summer, rooms that have not been renovated since the building’s opening in 1991. In Bidgood Hall, Rooms 215 and 217 will be converted into office spaces to support the college’s growing administrative efforts while Rooms 310 will receive new finishes.
This summer, Friedman Hall, a long standing residence hall near the ten Hoor Parking Deck was demolished. Built in 1951, the hall originally housed athletes before becoming a residential community for business students and more. The area where Friedman once stood will be utilized to build Hewson Hall, a building named in recognition of alumni Marillyn and James Hewson, who gifted The University of Alabama $15 million in July.
Paty Hall is another long-standing dorm that received a $14.7 million renovation, including improvements to the building’s restrooms, showers, living spaces and a complete electrical and plumbing overhaul. Historically an all-male residence, the dorm will now house all students.
As many construction projects come to a close this summer and into the fall semester, the University continues to unveil new plans for the future, such as plans to demolish Tutwiler Hall, another long-standing dorm, and build a new residence hall for first-year female students.The new building will remain double-occupancy, but will include private bathrooms. Construction on the new Tutwiler Hall is expected to start this fall, with the existing building being demolished once the new one is complete and fully operational.
Contributing writer Javon Williams contributed to the reporting on Bryce Lawn construction.