Campus Building Projects Underway


With the start of the new school year, construction projects at Briarcliff Properties and Woodruff Memorial Research Building have begun. Other ongoing projects include the renovation of the Woodruff Library Towers, Lowergate Parking Deck, at the Chemistry Center and along the Clifton Corridor campus.

The newest project is the construction of the EmTech Library Service Centre at the southwest corner of the Briarcliff Properties. A collaborative project between Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, the project hopes to build by fall 2015 a high density archival facility for retrospective paper and microfilm collections.

The project aims to release library space on the two campuses. The building is projected to cover 56,000 gross square footage (GSF), and will include state-of-the-art equipment and technology in order to improve the preservation and security of library collections. Two modules are being constructed, each with the capacity to hold two million volumes.

Partial infrastructure replacement at the Woodruff Memorial Research Building has also begun. The oldest southern wing of the building was constructed in 1950; a 2012 mechanical, electrical and plumbing investigation recommended repairs and the replacement of several systems.

The project, which is expected to be completed in March 2015, will replace central and core piping as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment in the north and south wings. The air handling unit and water heating system of the west wing will also be replaced.

The construction project at the Woodruff Library Towers, currently in its first phase, involves renovating the tenth floor as the public face of the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL). This floor has not been renovated significantly since its opening in 1967, project manager Brian Hutchinson wrote in an email to the Wheel. The project was carried out partly due to the building’s age, as well as the programmatic needs of the collection.

The new 10th floor, which is expected to be completed in April 2015, will house the Woodruff Room, a reading room and several other named rooms and classrooms.

The existing exterior wall will be removed, and a new exterior curtain wall will be constructed between the arched balcony openings. The lengths of the existing balcony will be preserved.

“Collections were not moved; they remain housed in secure stacks in the Woodruff Library,” director of MARBL Rosemary Magee said. “Access to them has not changed.”

Magee also said that students shouldn’t experience noticeable shifts and that the only change is that they must register online to access materials.

Magee anticipates that upon completion, the new floor will have “state-of-the art exhibitions, instructional spaces and meeting rooms.”

As for future plans after the renovation of the tenth floor, Hutchinson said that a schedule has not yet been established, but the renovations of floors seven, eight, and 11 are being considered.



The Houston Chapel Project to construct a Georgia Power substation near Burlington Road continues, and is scheduled to finish in January of 2015.

The substation is being constructed in order to meet the projected growth of electrical demand in the Clifton Corridor and to increase the service reliability within the area, according to James Johnson, Emory liaison to Georgia Power and University Landscape Architect.

According to Johnson, the existing two substations along Oxford Road are currently very near capacity, and due to the limited available land around them, cannot be enlarged. The current site on Gambrell Drive was selected due to its proximity to the transmission line along North Decatur Road.

According to Johnson, the actual design of the substation enclosure was carefully considered so that it would fit in to the Emory vernacular and not impact the neighborhood visually.

Johnson said that to address environmental issues, Georgia Power has committed to follow the Emory University policy of No Net Loss of Forest Canopy. The trees removed from the site, according to Johnson, will be planted within the Clifton Corridor.

As for the impact on transit along the Clifton Corridor, Johnson said that vehicle haul routes have been located to avoid residential areas as much as possible. Also, parking lots and travel lanes along North Decatur and Burlington Roads have been closed. In order to minimize the negative impact on transit along the road, Johnson said that closure has been kept to a minimum, with the contractor working during times of the day with lower traffic volumes.



Renovation is continuing at the Atwood Chemistry Center, bordered by White Hall, Emerson Hall, and Dowman Drive. Scheduled to finish in May 2015, the project involves a 70,000 square foot, five-story addition to the existing building.

The addition to the building will serve as additional research and instructional space for the Emory College Chemistry Department. 40,000 square feet will be used to update undergraduate teaching labs. Renovations were made according to Environmental Stewardship Standards, featuring sustainable design and building techniques.

Additionally, construction of the Science Building at Oxford College continues. Scheduled to be completed in April 2016, the building will occupy 55,000 GSF and will house the Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics and Astronomy departments.

Located between Oxford College Library, Phi Gamma Hall, and the Dining Commons, the new building will have three classrooms, teaching wet labs, faculty offices and collaboration spaces.​

—By Emily Lim, Contributing Writer