DOVER - Wesley College students should expect to feel a bit safer when they return next month for the 2012-13 school year.
The Dover private college is undergoing a $2.7 million streetscape improvement project, which closes sections of North Bradford, Fulton and Cecil streets and several alleys in the immediate area and replaces them with sidewalks and pavers in an effort to create a more pedestrian friendly, campus-like atmosphere.
It will also provide more useful and recreational space for students including benches, Wi-Fi connection, and an 80- square-foot area in between the college center and Cecil Street that students can use for events.
"I am looking forward to students having the ability to use the green space to gather socially and the added bonus of Wi-Fi access," college president Dr. William Johnston said.
The project also includes storm sewer and other infrastructure improvements including burying power, cable and telephone lines. It was because of the latter that the school and Becker Morgan, the project engineer, were able to secure half of the project funding ($1.58 million) through the state's New Jobs Infrastructure Fund, the purpose for which is to make investments of new state revenues towards creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity.
"Having planned the streetscape project for so long and now watching the daily progress we realize the reality has exceeded our expectation," Dr. Johnston said.
Jonathan N.H. Street, civil designer and project manager for Becker Morgan Group Inc., said construction is on schedule and should be completed by the first day of school, though landscaping work may take additional time.