Rice is partnering with the City of Houston to install a new water pipe along the inner loop that will bring higher water pressure to campus, according to project manager Elmer Whitehead.
The construction site is between Rayzor and Sewall halls, and the pipe has already been installed along the inner loop from the Baker Institute to Herring Hall, according to Whitehead.
In the next few days, Whitehead said construction will move to the oak alley between Herzstein and Anderson halls to extend the pipe to the west side of campus.
“Over the last few years, Rice noticed that the water pressures on campus were declining,” Whitehead said.
He said development on and off Rice’s campus has caused declining water pressure.
“The biggest issue had to do with water lines that were abandoned during the construction of other projects in the [off-campus] area,” Whitehead said. “Although the line runs through campus, it still belongs to the city.”
The City of Houston has agreed to reimburse Rice for over half of the cost of the project, according to Whitehead, and “has been very helpful” since becoming aware of the issue.
Whitehead said although Rice usually does not partner with the City of Houston, they are doing so this time simply to see more immediate change.
“The City of Houston concluded that with its existing schedule and labor resources, years would pass before it was able to address this issue,” Whitehead said. “Rice decided that it was in the university’s best interest to partner with the city rather than waiting until the city did the work.”
The project is expected to be complete by Oct. 10.