South Patio faces summer renovation

Summer activities will be disrupted on South Patio because of renovation expected to last until just before the fall semester begins.If the weather permits, South Patio serves as a prime location for any event on campus. And when it’s not being used for scheduled events, it can be the ideal hangout. For the summer, students will be forced to find another location.

“It will be one of the most disruptive renovations that we could possibly do,” said Glenn Binkley, associate vice president of Facilities and Business Services.

The South Patio renovation won’t just be an inconvenience for current students but also incoming students who will be attending SOAR in the summer.

Dustin Rawls, Orientation and Student Success director said, “We don’t know how much of South Patio will be available, so we’re treating it as if none of it will be available.”

Because the renovation won’t be completed until just before the fall semester begins, it could affect the Week of Welcome, Aug. 25 – Sept. 1.

“We won’t know for sure until it’s literally right upon us. The easy answer is we plan on it not being available, period. If it becomes available, then we know we can go back to plans that have traditionally been successful. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.”

Though the South Patio renovation will be a major disruption for campus, it will improve the overall appearance of the patio and, more importantly, fix a leak above the bookstore.

“We’ve had a problem of South Patio,” Binkley said, “which serves as a roof for the TTU Bookstore storage room, leaking now for a decade.”

In 2009, Tech was given the funding for a project to replace the North Patio, South Patio and the patio at the Walton House. Once the bids came in, there was only enough money to renovate the North Patio and the Walton House.

“The North Patio serves as the roof for Food Services,” Binkley said, “and it was leaking into their storage area like South Patio.”

South Patio will resemble North Patio when the fall semester begins.

“North Patio was basically the prototype for what we plan to do with South Patio,” Binkley said. “We were basically going from a patio that was brick with mortar and a solid surface to more of a floating surface with the tiles that are now on North Patio and creating a system of catch basins under the tiles to get the rain water out.”

The layer below the tile is made of sheets of rubber. These act as a funnel for the rainwater that goes through the tiles to the system of drainage collection points. Then it’s removed from the building. This system has been used in several state installations before it was used here.

The North Patio renovation allowed Tech to put an ADA ramp in on the north side of the RUC. This keeps students from having to go to another entrance to use a ramp.

Though the renovations can be tiresome, they are necessary to improve campus safety and the students’ learning environment.