UTEP plaza will not be finished before fall semester begins

UTEP plaza will not be finished before Fall semester begins

EL PASO, Texas -  UTEP's fall semester begins August 25th and it's massive campus transformation project doesn't look anywhere near finished.

"To a degree we are building a brandnew city here," said Greg McNicol who's overseeing the massive campus transformation.

McNicol said the project has been 10 years in the making.

The heart of the campus has been undergoing construction since April 2013.

"It will become our exterior meeting place a place to celebrate," said McNicol.
The Centennial Plaza project is transforming nearly 11 acres of roads, grass and parking lots in the heart of campus.

The university is being changed to be a more pedestrian-friendly plaza with paths, gardens and benches.
The plaza will also include 569 new trees that will create shade for students.
But before the beautification started the university had to work on underground utilities.
"The project has had a lot of unforeseen conditions," McNicol told ABC-7.
A lot of the university's utility lines were up to 70 years old.
"That includes water, wastewater, storm lines, gas, electricity communication duct banks," said McNicol.
McNicol said the underground work is about 95 percent done.
He told ABC-7 students should expect to see some construction fences when the fall semester begins.
"We will be bringing the fence line in on a much tighter circle until it collapses on itself but it won't be done a 100 percent," said McNicole.
Students said they don't see the construction as a nuisance - only an improvement.

"I feel like having less cars in the area will make it better for students," said student Aashir Sohail.

"More people will want to come to UTEP not only because it looks pretty but because there's a lot of money going into the school," said student Claudia Salinas.

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