By Gabriel Donahue, Editor-in-Chief
As construction continues on the new College of Health Professions building and preparations begin for the renovation of Smith Hall, Towson University has two smaller projects in the works.
Here’s what you need to know about each one.
Towson Run stream restoration
The university has started a stream restoration project on Towson Run between Osler and Emerson Drives, according to a TU Today article. Work began last Sunday and is expected to continue until Dec. 31.
The project will cost roughly $1.06 million of Capital Facilities Renewal funds, George Saliba, the stream restoration project manager, said in an email last Wednesday.
Towson Run is considered a small municipal separate storm sewer system and is subject to regulation by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System under the Clean Water Act.
The stream restoration project qualifies Towson for compliance with the General Permit for Discharges from State and Federal Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems, Saliba said.
The project will add more trees to the floodplain, he said. Doing so will allow it to hold excess water to mitigate runoff and ease erosion. Over 500 trees will be planted.
The permit requires compliance with Chesapeake Bay Restoration efforts, including water quality management.
Impervious surfaces such as parking lots and pavement increase the speed of runoff coming into the stream, which can erode the banks. Runoff from impervious services is considered problematic under the Clean Water Act, according to Marty Roberge, a professor in the department of geography and environmental planning.
The permit and its requirements aim to improve water quality while setting conditions for unavoidable stormwater pollution.
“Little by little, it’s trying to get us to clean up all of the problems we are creating,” Roberge said.
Library HVAC renovation
The Albert S. Cook Library’s heating, air conditioning and ventilating system will be renovated to “provide more comfortable, reliable and energy efficient service to the building,” a university spokesperson said in an email Friday.
The renovation will occur floor by floor, Nick Gingue, the associate vice president of Facilities Management, said in an email Monday.
Floors not being worked on will remain open during the renovation period, according to the action item summary brought to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents early September.
A library administrative assistant said Thursday that there is no timeline yet for the start of the project, as it is still in the planning phase.
The Board of Regents approved a $16.5 million budget for the project in its Sept. 22 meeting.
That money will also come from Capital Facilities Renewal funds, “the Towson University operating budgets allocated annually to renovate and renew state-funded facilities as needed,” the spokesperson said.
The HVAC system is original to the building, the action item summary said. Cook Library opened in 1969.