GOSHEN — The students are gone for the summer, but Goshen College's campus is still filled with activity.
Eight significant construction projects are in process this summer on campus, according to Glenn Gilbert, the college's utilities manager and sustainability coordinator.
One of the more noticeable projects is the addition of a tunnel under the railroad tracks that split the college campus in two.
On July 4, trains will not travel the track for 24 hours, allowing workers to lift the tracks, dig into the ground and install several pre-formed structures, creating a walkway. When finished, stairs and a wheelchair lift on either side of the train tracks will connect to the level corridor under the tracks.
A fence went up in April around where the underpass will be and Northern Indiana Construction has been doing preparatory work.
Gilbert pointed out in a tour of construction projects Friday how workers have moved most of the utility lines in the area and are installing a cofferdam to provide structural support for the tunnel.
There will still be work to do after July 4, but Gilbert said that the project should be completed and ready to use by October at the latest.
Not far from the tunnel construction site is where work is also going on to install a geothermal system that will heat and cool three college buildings.
Gilbert said that the system will use the ground water to heat and cool the Good Library, Umble Center and most of the Union. The current steam system will supplement the geothermal system for the Union building. Gilbert said the new system will reduce the college's energy use, and, in turn, the college's carbon footprint.
The Union is also the site of another major construction project.
The building is being renovated to create space for the new Center for International and Intercultural Education.
Much of the building will have a new floor plan and older areas in the building are getting a “face lift,” Gilbert said. The building should be complete by the start of the classes this fall, he said.
The plan is for the Union to also eventually house the college's communication department, including the student television and radio studios and newspaper workspace.
Gilbert said that this summer the college is also replacing the roof of the college's recreational-fitness center, replacing the college's running track, replacing windows at Yoder dorm and performing maintenance on the science building.