It’s good to see signs with the new logo start going up around campus and at our off-island locations. This one at the Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes was the latest and one of the most prominent to date; it went up last week, and should be wired for light by this evening. My thanks to Brittni Stinson for sending it to me; she manages (among other things) the Specialty Care Center’s blog. Check it out…
Archive for the ‘Construction Update’ Category
As a foodie and cook, I’ve always been attracted to the concept of the taco truck. I can’t say whether it’s the compact kitchen, the idea of being in a different place each day, the creative challenge of mobile meals, the informality of serving/eating streetside, or maybe it’s just a holdover from my childhood, the ice cream truck’s song still dancing somewhere back in my head.
In any case, score a big hit for campus dining options in my book with the arrival of the “official” UTMB Taco Truck. It’s parked out in the circle east of the Moody Medical Library. I’ve eaten there three or four times, never disappointed. The pork tacos are excellent. Here’s the announcement in case you missed it:
The Food and Nutrition taco truck was created in order to serve the numerous contractors that will be on our campus due to the upcoming renovations. This will hopefully alleviate congestion in our campus eating venues. During the past few weeks, the truck has been around various locations on campus during lunch hours. The taco truck will now be located next to the Library from 11am until 2pm, Monday through Friday. Once more contractors arrive on campus, the truck will travel around campus to areas that will serve more customers.
The items offered are tacos, quesadillas, sandwiches, salads and much more! For more information, please contact Oliver Godoy at 772-9575.
UPDATE 9/10/10: Taco truck is MIA, maybe too good a thing? I hear it will be coming back. My paper napkin and I will be ready.
There has been a lot of interest in the new Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes. People want to know about services, about jobs, are curious about what it looks like inside. A new blog launched today should help satisfy some of the curiosity. Go check it out…
After all my bridge-related posts these past years, I couldn’t let this momentous day pass without a note: the new span is open. I drove across it this morning. It made the 20-minute backups of the past three days almost seem worthwhile.
The bridge is beautiful. I’m sorry we lost the landscaping to Ike, but considering the big boats and debris that must have slammed into the bridge during the storm, if a few lost palms is the extent of the damage and delay, I’m not complaining.
Speaking of the Galveston Causeway (below), it’s the site of one of two exciting new developments I’m watching on my daily commute on I-45. On the causeway, it looks like they’ve strung the last span of open water. This week the contractor stretched beams between the last unconnected and uncovered pilings, in preparation (I assume) for the final concrete pour. If you had asked me a year ago, I’d have said there was no way they’d be done by this fall, as scheduled. Now the question is “How soon can I drive on that side?”
The other exciting news is from the opposite end of my commute, at the site of what is officially being called the “UTMB Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes.” The work has begun, without fanfare, without delays. A construction fence went up about a week ago, construction trailers and the all-important Porta-Pots are up on the spot, and earth moving equipment has begun grading and shaping the site. I’m going to really enjoy watching this great new piece of our future take shape. Given the fantastic feedback and results from our other clinics and operations in the region, I have high hopes for the Specialty Care Center. I’ll try to get some pictures and keep you in the loop on the progress.
Now that I drive up the I-45 corridor every day, I see the growth that mushrooms up at intersections and rapidly gobbles up the adjoining land, former rice fields or pastures ”magically” (and quickly) transformed to big box retailers and new housing developments. I’m not going to comment on the merits or need for two or three Targets or Walmarts or Home Depots on one ride home, but they’re there, and when they’re built, people come (It’s like “Field of Dreams” with shopping carts and bad traffic).
I was happy to see UTMB seal a deal recently associated with the property we own in the middle of the north county building boom, not far from where my nightly commute ends. As part of the university’s clinical strategic plan and commitment to investing in our future, UTMB purchased 29 additional acres of land adjacent to the property we already own in League City. This property, right on I-45, will open up our options in the future, at a time when well-placed large parcels are likely to be in short supply at any price. In the short term, there’s word that the extra acreage may possibly provide a needed park and ride lot for many of our employees who live off of the island but work in Galveston. And construction on the specialty care center planned for the site should begin very soon.
Galveston County’s Biz Buzz gal Laura Elder had a story in the paper about the purchase this morning.
I heard today in a meeting that a section of the famous “White Hallway” (connecting the Towers to John Sealy Annex) is closing for updates and renovations starting July 7. The first part to close is the south section; that phase will last 3-4 weeks, to be followed by the second phase at the north end of the corridor. The work will address a number of necessary issues, and equally important, improve the look and feel of one of our most heavily traveled areas. We have some visuals from FOAM and will work to get those online to iUTMB and the construction site. Best bet will be to avoid the area, using the cafeteria and hallway by Patient Services as alternate routes, or jumping up to the second floor. Those who were around for the renovations to the Main Street corridor or John Sealy Hospital entrance know that by comparison, this will be cake. Eventually, the new areas of Children’s Hospital, the garden, and Main Street wil all tie together with a complementary look and feel.
DETOUR 1: The contractors working on the Galveston Island Causeway will get out their blasting caps again this weekend. Sunday morning at approximately 8 a.m., they’ll be taking out about 10 remaining piers (a 700 ft stretch) of the old Northbound Bridge. The bridge will close to traffic around 8 am and reopen around 9 am, possibly earlier. If you’re going fishing Sunday, the Tiki Island Marina channel is going to be closed. If you’re working and driving in from “overseas,” keep the blast and closure in mind.
DETOUR 2: The walkway in the area near the front of the Student Center and Graves is being closed this Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 am to begin preparations for new sidewalks in the area; the contractor will pour concrete back on Saturday and open the walkway/sidewalk before Monday at 7 am. Signage will mark the detour, but it’s a whopper of a reroute—if you normally walk to campus down Strand and in front of Old Red, on this Friday you’d have to go back to 11th and around the rear of Mary Moody Northen and Graves (we’ll work to get a map online Thursday). The good news is it’s a brief closure, and the weather should be nice.
For a few months many of us have been slowly getting used to a fairly significant detour caused by the work on the Moody Medical Library- and Children’s Hospital-sides of the Galveston National Laboratory (south and east sides, part of the West Campus Landscape Project.). The work made for long detours for anyone trying to traverse north to south around the central part of campus. The good news: enough of the work is wrapping up that some fences will be coming down next week (Nov. 26). The areas around the Library Plaza, north of the Ninth Street Employee Dropoff circle, and a path to the UHC area, will open back up. Work is still taking place on the Children’s Hospital West Entrance and Lobby, and that will stay closed until January.
If you are one of the lucky UTMB families with an ankle biter in the Childrens Center (formerly known as the Child Care Center), you already know what a first class facility it is. It’s a great new, big beautiful building, has fantastic staff, is one of few nationally accredited child care centers on the island, is well managed, the kids seem happy and their parents appreciate having them close. A trade article just published does a deep dive into what it takes to build this sort of facility, and offers a case study featuring the UTMB center. It’s pretty interesting; you can read it online.