Renovation to be ongoing at SUNY New Paltz as students return on Aug. 23.

SUNY New Paltz. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

College students and visitors to SUNY New Paltz will see at least some construction work going on when they return to campus at the end of the month. Also, the Mohonk Walk — a cross-campus pathway — will be open to pedestrians for the first time even while landscaping continues, college officials said.

The most visible reminder that construction is going on will be fencing around the Wooster Building as a $36.7 million renovation project unfolds there, the closure of the Sojourner Truth Library’s first floor and that landscaping work around the Mohonk Walk.

Like Wooster, Sojourner Truth Library is also getting serious attention with a $14.3 million renovation that’s scheduled to end in the winter of 2013. The Mohonk Walk project is a $11.7 million upgrade that will continue in phases until summer 2013. It also includes upgrades to the Hasbrouck Quad.


“The Mohonk Walk will be open with the fencing taken down,” explained John Shupe, the assistant vice president for facilities management. “We will continue with landscaping activities throughout the fall, but without the heavy equipment present.”

Bliss Hall is a dormitory right at the heart of the campus — work to renovate that building’s windows, curtain wall and student rooms has been ongoing throughout the summer. While the tiling and repainting of the student rooms will be done by the time lectures start, not everything at Bliss will be done on time, Shupe noted.

Those exterior windows and the new wall did not make the deadline.

“We had some minor setbacks with this project that impacted the schedule,” he said. “The contractor will be cleaned up and off site before the students return, and we will finish the remainder of the project next summer.”

This summer the SUNY New Paltz construction crews also started work on a new parking lot over by Lenape Hall. There’s also been a continuation of previous work on the electrical distribution system and repairs made to sidewalks throughout the college.

Shupe explained that some construction work won’t begin until later in the fall, but that too could impact students, faculty and staff members.

The elevators need to be repaired at Faculty Tower, so people who enter that building should watch out for closure signs. “We will be shutting down one elevator at a time in Faculty Tower — this project will last throughout the winter,” he said.

McKenna Theatre has been in need of new air-conditioning and that will get taken care of after classes start as well. Shupe said that McKenna’s new AC will go in during the late fall or early winter. “We are working with the Fine & Performing Arts Department to schedule accordingly.”

For more details about the construction projects at SUNY New Paltz, keep an eye on Move-in day at the college is Thursday, Aug. 23 and the first day of classes is Monday, Aug. 27.