Note: Demolition of the old bank building will take place during the week of August 8-12. On Monday, August 15, fencing will be erected around the site of the Center Run townhouses behind Farr Hall.
Students returning to campus for the fall semester will see a different landscape in downtown Gambier, as work is scheduled to begin on the site of what is known as the “old bank building” and on new apartments behind Farr Hall.
The old bank building, located at 111 Chase Ave., will be demolished down to its foundation by late August. Fencing will be erected in early August to secure the site, and concrete barriers will create a safe temporary walkway along Chase Avenue for pedestrians. The placement of the barriers will cause two parking spaces on Chase Avenue to be unavailable during the project.
The building formerly housed the Black Box Theater, and the College is collaborating with student groups and the Department of Dance, Drama and Film on a new home, located on the north end of campus, for the Black Box Theater. The new theater space will be fully accessible and will include restrooms — features the old bank building did not enjoy.
In addition to the concrete barriers along Chase Avenue, a temporary traffic pattern change will further protect pedestrians during the demolition of the building and the subsequent construction of a new home for the Village Market, which is expected to take a year to complete. A section of Brooklyn Street, from Chase Avenue to Campus Auto, will become one-way westbound for the duration of the project, except for key weekends at the College, such as move-in weekends, when it will revert back to a two-way street.
"Safety is the number one priority," said Seth Millam, construction project manager.
Construction vehicles will be directed to enter the village off Route 229 via Duff Street, rather than Wiggin Street, to avoid congestion on Chase and Gaskin avenues. To reinforce pedestrian and vehicular safety, construction vehicles will be routed through designated entrances and exits to the project sites. Adequate signage will direct students and pedestrians to safe routes around the sites.
Fencing also will be erected in early August around the lot behind Farr Hall, the future location of two new townhouses that will house 16 students total. Construction of those townhouses begins in late August and is expected to take a year to complete.
Though the projects are taking place in the heart of Gambier, they will not affect access to homes, businesses or the post office.
Construction Sights: Work on the site of the old bank building on Chase Avenue is set to begin, continuing a slate of improvements to downtown Gambier.