Renovated stairs outside Newcomb expected to open later this month

Temporary walkway outside Newcomb Hall continues to remain in use as crews repair stairs

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A temporary staircase between Newcomb Hall and Brown College opened in October 2017.

Cassandra Plemons | Cavalier Daily

Despite being slated for completion by the first week of December, construction on the stairs outside Newcomb Hall is expected to come to an end later this month. 

"The stairs are scheduled to be open and in use prior to March 26, 2018. The work was originally scheduled to be completed in January 2018," University Deputy Spokesperson Wesley P. Hester said in an email to The Cavalier Daily.However, due to inclement weather and additional areas of infiltration that were identified, the schedule needed to be adjusted."

The project, expected to cost $250,000, began in October 2017 in order to repair water leaks.

“The existing stairs were in need of repair and waterproofing so that we can prevent moisture from infiltrating the building,” University Deputy Spokesperson Matt Charles said in October.

Several students said the temporary staircase has been inconvenient.

“Sometimes when it rains, the stairs are super gross and yucky, and it’s slippery … Some of my friends have been close to falling,” said Vaishnavi Madhavan, a second-year College student. 

“They form giant water puddles. Even though they’re trying to fix the water leaks, these temporary stairs are even worse than before,” first-year College student Olivia Benz said. “I usually avoid that staircase now because it’s always covered in snow or wet from the rain. I now go through the top floor of Newcomb and then use the stairs inside to go to the cafeteria.”

The University has not had any major conflicts reported with the temporary stairs, however.

“We are not aware of any reported incidents or inconveniences involving the wooden stairs,” Hester said.

This article has been updated to include more information from Hester noting that the stairs were originally on track to be finished in January, but the schedule had to be adjusted due to weather and additional areas of infiltration that were identified. 

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