NATE MOULTON/THE HOYA  The steps outside the Intercultural Center are crumbling and are undergoing renovation.
The steps outside the Intercultural Center are crumbling and are undergoing renovation.

The crumbling staircases located between the Intercultural Center and the Jesuit Cemetery are currently undergoing renovation after delays stalled the construction of new staircases for months, according to Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management Robin Morey.

“We made several attempts to repair the steps which were unsuccessful,” Morey said. “The condition of the stairs continued to deteriorate beyond repair and needed to be replaced.”

Repairs on the stairs were stalled during the colder winter months because temperatures need to be at least 45 degrees for the masonry work to be completed in a quality manner, Morey said.

“Our schedule targeted an early April start,” Morey said. “The project is not delayed and is currently on schedule. Other campus construction initiatives have no impact on this project.”

Morey said that there is no estimated cost yet because negotiations with contractor proposals are ongoing.

Though the staircases immediately adjacent to the cemetery are closed, a secondary staircase located less than 100 feet away still provides access to Red Square and the rear of Copley Hall.

Plans for replacing the steps began this past winter when university began the design and contractor bidding processes. With the design now complete, work began last week to demolish the old steps.

“We have integrated the new campus pavement standards conceived by the master plan into the design,” Morey said of the new staircases.

The staircases were demolished to prevent students from using the crumbling steps on the previous staircases. Though the steps were cordoned off, students were still using the stairways, according to Morey.

“Pedestrians simply move the racks and used the steps in spite of them cordoned off,” Morey said. “We considered this a safety hazard.”

Chris Rellas (COL ’17) said that though the current staircase closures are an inconvenience, there are plenty of other ways to get around campus.

“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Rellas said of the closures. “We have a lot of problems on campus, and we obviously can’t make them all perfect. … I’m sure they’ll get around to it.”

On the other hand, Elizabeth Humphrey (COL ’17) said that the staircase closures have affected her daily commute across campus.

“In the past these steps provided my route to class, the gym and Regents,” Humphrey said. “Having no access to the steps, I now take a longer route through the ICC and use elevators more. Walking past the graveyard used to be one of the best parts of my day.”

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