Building Related Updates

If you’re also making time to visit campus or work on campus, below are the most recent updates for the Sánchez building renovations. Please be advised that construction will be significant until the end of August, so plan accordingly regarding noise and travel throughout the building.  

Fall Semester 2022 Update

October 6

As we continue to modernize our buildings, we’re faced with a mix of old and new systems that require significant integration. Not surprisingly, marrying our original facilities with new and improved systems and structures requires a substantial amount of analysis and coordination.

Next Steps

Over the next few years, we will continue to improve our buildings in both Sánchez and Bellmont. As part of that process, the Sánchez Building will be in a “commissioning” phase, also referred to as Cx. Commissioning (or Cx) is a professional practice that ensures the buildings on campus can successfully operate according to the university’s standards and requirements. Throughout this process, intermittent noise disruptions may occur during working hours. We will do our best to ensure that the effects of the sound are both minimal and temporary.

Progress

Data gathering and inspections/testing have commenced. Immediately manageable issues will be addressed as they are discovered, and final data analysis and an action plan for any systemic issues is anticipated by June 2023.

Results

This process will help us provide better comfort and operational levels within the building, such as air-conditioning, heating, water systems and more. Your input is vital to our success and any additional input you can provide will assist the team as we work through the commissioning.

Please forward any Sánchez Building improvement observations to coefacilities@austin.utexas.edu.

February Update

February 28

Over the week of Spring Break, March 14-18, there will be planned power outages throughout SZB. Because these outages will include not only lighting and power outlets, but heating and cooling as well, it is important that you plan ahead and prepare to work remotely if your area is one of those experiencing this brief disruption in service.

Unfortunately, there was no way to avoid these power outages. We understand the significant inconvenience that this causes and have been working closely with the construction company to determine the least disruptive times for faculty, staff and students, such as Spring Break when fewer occupants are in the building.

We have already communicated with your director/chair if your office area is one that will be impacted by the construction. You can also refer to the power outage map to confirm ahead of time if your space will be affected.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact COE Facilities at coefacilities@austin.utexas.edu.

As an important (and exciting) reminder, most of the renovations will conclude by the end of the spring 2022 semester, and construction is slated for completion by the start of classes in fall 2022.

February 8

We hope that your week is off to a great start and that you're all enjoying the warmer temperatures now upon us. As a friendly reminder, if you are visiting the Sánchez (SZB) building between now and mid-April, remember that the escalators— and the lobby landings— will be closed.

  • All SZB traffic should use the elevators and/or stairs as alternative entry/exit options.
  • Note that the stairs on the southern side of SZB will also have intermittent construction throughout the month of February.
  • See map for construction details.

We encourage all faculty, staff and students to plan ahead and arrive on campus as early as possible to avoid potential elevator wait times.

As always, we will do our best to communicate these changes as far in advance as possible in order to minimize any disruption. We understand that this is an added inconvenience, and a challenge, and are grateful for your understanding as we near the final phases of the renovation project.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact COE Facilities at coefacilities@austin.utexas.edu. Thank you in advance for your patience and support.

February 1

We are in the final stages of our renovation project. While we’re close to putting the finishing touches on rooms, fixtures and equipment, we still have a few important milestones to overcome before the construction is completed.

  • One of the most significant milestones is work on north section of SZB.
  • As a result, escalators in SZB will be closed for use beginning Thursday, February 3 through early-April.
  • All SZB traffic to floors 3, 4 and 5 should use the elevators and/or stairwells on the northwest and southeast sides of the building.
  • Note that the southern stairwells will have intermittent construction during the month of February.
  • See map for construction details.

We encourage all faculty, staff and students to plan ahead and arrive on campus as early as possible to avoid potential elevator wait times.

As we near completion on a fast-paced schedule, we anticipate additional interruptions to the use of facilities in Sánchez and Bellmont. We will do our best to communicate these changes as far in advance as possible in order to minimize any disruption.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact COE Facilities at coefacilities@austin.utexas.edu.

September Updates

September 29

This is a friendly reminder that if you are going to be teaching, working or meeting in the Sánchez (SZB) building over the next few weeks, the noise level will be noticeably loud due to construction in and around SZB 216. 

There will be intermittent drilling and general construction continuing throughout the week and although we would like to be able to isolate the noise to a primary area, the effects of the construction may be heard in other SZB locations.

We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to plan accordingly until the renovations have progressed past this crucial phase in mid-late October. 

General Reminders

  • The Blanton Museum grounds are under construction until further notice. Access to and from the east side of Sánchez will be limited, and pedestrian traffic will be routed north to 23rd and south to MLK. Please see the advisory notice Please see the advisory notice.
  • CoE Facilities will continue to hold virtual office hours every Friday from 12 to 12:50 p.m. Please attend if you have specific questions regarding the renovations.

September 22

Renovations are proceeding at a rapid pace. Although the Student Services Center is near completion (and is looking wonderful), much of the second floor is still under construction and will be for the remainder of the fall semester. 

Photo of the Student Affairs desk on the second floor of the Sanchez building.
Student Services Center nearing completion.
Photo of a sitting area near the Student Affairs desk in the Sanchez building.
Sitting area in the Student Services Center.
Photo of the Student Affairs lobby area from behind the welcome desk.
Lobby view from Student Services Center desk.

Because a large portion of the renovations over the next few weeks include demolition to concrete, pillars, and walls, the noise level has been, and will continue to be, excessively loud until this portion of the construction is complete. 

We are hopeful that the noise will begin to subside in the next few weeks, and will continue to notify the community as the renovations progress.

General Reminders

  • The Blanton Museum grounds are under construction until further notice. Access to and from the east side of Sánchez will be limited, and pedestrian traffic will be routed north to 23rd and south to MLK. Please see the advisory notice.
  • CoE Facilities will continue to hold virtual office hours every Friday from 12 to 12:50 p.m. Please attend if you have specific questions regarding the renovations.

September 8 

There will be significant noise in Sánchez as construction continues in Suite 216. Be advised that suites on the third floor directly above the renovation space, the new Student Service Center, and the Dean's Office will also experience very loud intermittent noise. Please make sure to plan accordingly.

General Reminders

  • The Blanton Museum grounds are under construction until further notice. Access to and from the east side of Sánchez will be limited, and pedestrian traffic will be routed north to 23rd and south to MLK. Please see the advisory notice.
  • CoE Facilities will continue to hold virtual office hours every Friday from 12 to 12:50 p.m. Please attend if you have specific questions regarding the renovations.
  • All mail deliveries can be picked up in SZB 4.316 until further notice, although packages are now beginning to be delivered to specific departments.

August Updates

August 6

  • The NW entrance to the Sánchez Building (SZB) will be temporarily closed beginning midday Friday, August 6 to complete tile and flooring work in the second-floor lobby.
  • Access to the building will be available through the SW entrance, although visits to SZB during this time are strongly discouraged for safety and accessibility reasons.

August 16: Staff and faculty on the 3rd and 4th floors will be able to access their offices by this date. Date may be subject to change.

After August 16 there will be continued yet minimal construction on the 3rd and 4th floors including:

  • Cosmetic ceiling installation on floors 2, 3 and 4 (example: wood panels currently visible on the 5th floor) are delayed due to material availability.
  • Some of the flooring will need to be added after the move-in (meaning small portions of the floor will be only concrete).

August 23

  • The second-floor lobby and Student Services Center should be open by this date.
  • Until August 23, all traffic will continue to enter the building from an alternate entrance.

Last week of August

  • Escalators are scheduled to open. Date may be subject to change.
  • Wayfinding improvements: Room numbers in SZB have been reconsidered and will reflect new wayfinding throughout the building. Please see the map of SZB's renumbered rooms here.
  • Demolition of suite 216 will begin during this time (expect construction noise from this area).

July: Wayfinding Around Blanton Construction

This signage and wayfinding map (PDF) shows how to access the Sánchez Building now that construction is underway around the Blanton Museum. 

July: Sánchez Lobby

While construction continues throughout Sánchez, significant progress has been made on the second floor as we repare for the fall semester start.

Photo of construction materials just inside the front door of SZB.
Sánchez entrance facing the patio.
Photo of the escalators on the 2nd floor of SZB.
Sánchez second floor entrance construction.
Photo of what will be the Student Services lobby on the second floor of SZB.
Lobby view from Student Services Center space.

June 25 - June 31: General Updates

  • Construction noise remains significant and will continue throughout the month.
  • Staff and faculty will be notified in advance by Facilities if/when there will be additional construction in and around their workspaces.
  • If you need to access your office on the 3rd or 4th floor, please contact Facilities to coordinate your visit. Extended use of office space on the 3rd and 4th floors is still prohibited until August.

June 14-June 18: General Updates

  • The concrete cutting near the escalators on each floor is near completion and the resulting noise will be lower than in recent weeks. Note that construction noise remains significant and will continue to be so until later summer.
  • The renovations in the Texas Center for Equity Promotion and Assessment and Counselling Center are near completion with only a few cosmetic updates to be made. The Center is anticipated to be online by mid-late July.
  • The Student Services Center is on schedule: walls have been installed and central cooling and heating functionality is in progress.
Photo of the SZB patio from just inside the doors.
Sánchez east facing exterior celebrated entrance.
Photo of construction workers in the SZB lobby which is undergoing renovations.
Sánchez Student Services Center Interior construction.
Photo of construction workers in the SZB lobby which is undergoing renovations.
Lobby view from Student Services Center space.

May 20-May 28: General Updates

  • Current entries into SZB include a temporary public entrance near the northwest corner of the building (see route map or the image below).
  • There will be no access through the Celebrated entrance on the east side of SZB (typically accessible from the Plaza).
  • Entry at Al Kiva on the east side of SZB is open but has limited accessibility due to stairs leading up and down.
  • There will be no access to the 3rd and 4th floors, including the lobby areas and escalators on those floors.
  • Traffic should enter on the 2nd floor west entrance (temporary public entrance) and be routed north (left turn upon entry). Access the 5th floor via the elevator or the stairs. 

Building Entrances

Map depicting wayfinding into the Sánchez building

Expect significant construction noise throughout SZB for the near future. 

Travel Updates

  • Pedestrian Impacts: Pedestrians will be routed from the Brazos Garage, past the south side of Jester Dormitory, by PCL, and behind SZB to the west entrance.
  • Travel Impacts: Vehicular traffic is not impacted.
  • Bicycle impacts: Cyclists will be routed to the west entrance of SZB. Cyclists may consider alternative routes using the City of Austin’s Bike Map.
  • Parking Impacts: Parking will not be impacted. The existing Accessible spaces remain available on the west side of the building, as is the Brazos garage.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact our communications team at szbrenovation@austin.utexas.edu.