Construction of a new roof for the bridge that connects the Academic Administration Building and the Holly Auditorium to the Medical School Building is set to begin Sept. 8 and is expected to take two months to complete.
Replacing the roof of the bridge, which previously housed the School of Health Professions, is an important first step to repurposing the space for clinical research, said Raymundo Rivera, executive director of engineering and construction management and chief electrical engineer in the Department of Facilities Management.
Initial plans called for the bridge to be torn down, but it was deemed structurally sound by a structural engineer. Demolishing it would have been an unnecessary expense, said Leigh Ann Kensky, senior director in the Office of Facility Space Planning and Real Estate.
Quiet days have been incorporated into the construction calendar to ensure that exams taking place in the Holly can take place without disruption, Kensky said.
Once renovated, the space will be occupied by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science.
“Our opioid use disorder program has grown so rapidly in the past few months, we have outgrown our current space,” said Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH, vice dean for research and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “We appreciate this space being made available and look forward to the ability to grow and transform substance abuse disorder treatment in Texas.”