A handful of students were given the opportunity to visit the construction site of the USC Village and get an inside look at the operations happening behind the fences.
The good thing about having construction going on so close to campus is the opportunity to see it up close and in person. At around 3:15 on a warm Friday afternoon, USC civil engineering students of all ages huddled into the main construction office on the south side of the site. There we were given an overview of the project and what all was being accomplished. It was fascinating to see the rows upon rows of construction plans and schematics within the office.
The tour began with a stroll to the side of Building 4, the future McCarthy Honors College. We were shown trenches dug for electrical and utility lines, and the etched out nameplate of the structure.
Next, we walked around to the west side of the building, and we were shown where the exclusive dining hall would be located. The huge openings will eventually be filled with giant stained glass windows.
After that, we took a scenic route to Building 1, the MEP building of the village. MEP stands for mechanical, electrical, and power, and Building 1 is one of the few structures that uses CMU for its construction. Inside, there were numerous water pipes installed, and it will house many of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Village. In my opinion, this building was one of my favorites. It had plenty of mechanical detail and intricate features that I found interesting.
Once we left Building 1, we made our way between Buildings 9 and 4 to the central plaza of the Village. Building 9 will be a future location for undergraduate housing while Building 4 is strictly for freshman. Once we arrived at the plaza, were able to see the spire that was placed atop the clock tower just one week prior. It towers 145 feet above the ground, and it is quite a humbling sight to see. The central plaza is where most of the action of the Village community will go down. There will be numerous locations for dining, entertainment, shopping, and communal spaces for people to occupy.
In addition to these amenities, there will also be a central fountain (which has not been designed yet) and a statue of Hecuba, Tommy’s companion as some might say. In Greek mythology, Hecuba was the queen during the Trojan War.
Next, we toured the inside of Building 4, and we were able to explore the various bedroom layouts. We even got a view of the podium level courtyard in the center of the building and the interesting “Bridge To Nowhere.” This deceiving yet functional bridge spans the gap between Buildings 4 and 9. The idea with this structure is that you would be able to walk into but not across to the opposite side. Study areas will be within this portion. It makes sense if you want to keep the freshmen separate from the upperclassmen. It is not impossible to cross, however. There is full access on the top level of the bridge.
That pretty much concluded the tour as the sun began to set on that warm Friday evening. It was both a learning experience and a preview of what I hope to be involved in as a future civil engineer.