Lehigh’s campus is going to be undergoing construction throughout the years ahead. Brent Stringfellow, associate vice president of Facilities and University Architect, helped lay out a timeline for these upcoming projects. (Devon Saturnia/B&W Staff)

Construction projects to continue in 2019-2020 academic year


Anyone who has walked through Lehigh’s campus over the past year has likely noticed the various construction sites scattered along South Mountain. With the amount of projects going on, it can be difficult to keep track. The Brown and White spoke with Brent Stringfellow, associate vice president of Facilities and University Architect, and Lori Friedman, director of Media Relations, to provide an overview of what students, faculty and staff can expect to see in the 2019-2020 academic year.

What will be finished in 2019-2020 academic year:

SouthSide Commons

Location: On the corner of Packer and Brodhead avenues

Projected Completion Date: August 2019

A part of Lehigh’s Path to Prominence, the new affiliated housing project is expected to house about 426 upperclassmen students in a 144-apartment complex. The total cost is estimated to be about $48.3 million.

Chandler-Ullmann Hall

Location: Behind Fritz Engineering Laboratory and next to Sherman Fairchild Laboratory

Projected Completion Date: Fall 2019

Upon completion of the renovations in Chandler-Ullmann Hall, the psychology department will be returning to the building and the math department will relocate into the building from Christmas-Saucon. Offices in the University Center will move into Christmas-Saucon. Chandler-Ullman will be used for both classroom and study spaces, Stringfellow said.

Center for Career and Professional Development

Location: Fifth Floor of Maginnes Hall

Projected Completion Date: End of May 2019

The Center for Career and Professional Development will be moved from the fourth floor of the Rauch Business Center into the fifth Floor of Maginnes Hall. The cost of the project is estimated to be in the $2-million range.


Location: Third floor, the main floor, of EWFM Library

Projected Completion Date: August 2019

The cafe, which expected to cost between $1 million to $2 million, will seat about 45 students and serve smoothies, coffee, teas, bakery items, sandwiches and salads.

Herbert G. Harmon Press Box and John J. Harmon Sky Box 

Location: Goodman Stadium

Projected Completion Date: Fall 2019

Just in time for the upcoming football season, there will be upgrades to the press box and sky boxes at the stadium. The Herbert G. Harmon press box will consist of “two coaches boxes, working media, home radio, visiting radio and an instant-replay booth,” according to a recent Lehigh News article. The John J. Harmon Sky Box and the other first-level sky boxes will be equipped with food packages, mini refrigerators and air conditioning.

Construction to expect throughout next year:

New Residential Houses, formerly known as Bridge West

Location: On the corner of Sayre and University drives

Projected Completion Date: Fall 2020 (Phase I)

The $75-million project will house over 400 undergraduate students in the first phase and feature a cafe, fitness area, kitchenettes, lounge areas and conference rooms. The first phase is scheduled to be completed by fall 2020.

The project will be fueled by a recent $5-million donation by Julie Hitch, ’20P, ’21P, and Jordan Hitch, ’88, ’20P, ’21P, according to an email sent to the Lehigh community on April 24. The first building of the new cluster of new residential houses will be named Hitch House and will be livable for fall 2020.

The first and second phase together will include housing for 720 students.

College of Health

Location: Parking lot behind Whitaker Laboratory

Projected Completion Date: Fall 2021

The College of Health is expected to enroll students in fall 2020, but the building will not be completed until fall 2021. Stringfellow said construction will start next month and be in full effect by this coming fall. The inaugural dean for the College of Health was also announced earlier this semester, Dean Whitney Witt.

University Center

The highly anticipated renovation of the University Center will not begin in the 2019-2020 year but may begin as early as summer 2020. No official date has been set. According to Stringfellow, planning for the relocation of the Lower Cort at the UC may start over the summer but will not be in effect until construction starts.

Students react to the changes

Students have mixed opinions about the construction taking place on campus and the impacts it has on their time at Lehigh.

Manasi Vitthanala, ’22, said she is most excited for the renovation of Chandler-Ullmann to be completed. Vitthanala also expressed concern about the construction of the new residential houses because she lives nearby the construction site.

Madie Schulte, ’22, said she is also excited for Chandler-Ullmann to be completed.

“I am looking forward to the completion of the psychology department in Chandler-Ullmann because I am a first-year psychology major, and my classes have been dispersed throughout the campus,” Schulte said. “It would be more convenient if they were in one place.”

Another student, Alivia Gallo, ’22 said that the construction on Chandler-Ullmann has been a bit of an eyesore, and is anticipating what the campus will look like once the project is finished.

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