If the ongoing construction on campus wasn't enough to get you to redirect your paths, the upcoming construction will.
Knoxville city officials have announced an updated timeline for the redesigning of Cumberland Avenue.
Construction will start along 17th Street and go to Volunteer Boulevard and is expected to begin late next fall, after the 2013 football season. The plan includes two lanes of traffic, along with grassy medians and left-turn lanes.
Knoxville City Council approved the original reconstruction contract with Vaughn and Melton Consulting Engineers, Inc. on Sept. 23, 2008 with a completion date of Dec. 31, 2011. However, before they could proceed with the project, some additional coordination and studies were required to fulfill different aspects, thus delaying the start of the project.
The Knoxville City Council met over the summer and approved the resolution to increase the contract price by $565,501 for a new contract of $1,988,921 for completion of the Cumberland Avenue Streetscapes Improvement Project.
While not on campus, many students still frequent Cumberland Avenue on a weekly basis and some are worried that the construction will make traffic even more complicated than it is currently.
Sierra Peak, junior in psychology, said she visits the strip a few times a week and thinks the traffic is already bad enough.
"I think it will probably slow things down a bit," Peak said. "Especially on the weekends since that is when most activity takes place and people traveling back home. It's already congested enough and I think the construction will definitely make things worse."
The city of Knoxville is trying to make life easier for commuters by installing a turn lane so traffic won't be stalled due to turning cars.
Peak likes the idea and says the traffic flow would benefit greatly.
"I think that having one would be really beneficial so cars aren't stuck waiting behind someone trying to turn holding up traffic," she said.
Zachary Royster, sophomore in political science, said it is important to make traffic go smoothly at all times, but it will be especially challenging when they are doing construction during the football season.
The plan is to start after the 2013 season, but chances are good that this 24-month process will go all the way through the 2014 season and 2015 seasons as well.
Royster said with as much construction happening on campus as there is right now, they will have succeeded if the traffic is kept at the status quo.
"I mean, it already takes people an hour or so to get out of the parking garage and onto the street if they don't leave before the clock hits zero," Royster said. "So I feel like as long as they don't let the traffic get any worse than it already is, they will have done a good job."
Some students haven't had a big problem waiting to turn, however. More pertinent agenda items include making the road look more inviting.
In a press release earlier this week, it was stated that grassy medians would be put in place as well as a reconfiguration of electrical supply lines.
Knoxville Utilities Board talked with Knoxville officials and came to the conclusion that they could bury the electrical transmission line under Cumberland Avenue and eliminate some of the overhead power lines.
"I just feel like they could make it a little bit nicer-looking and more appealing for people to walk up and down the strip," Royster said.
Jacob Haskew, recent graduate in journalism, said the better Cumberland Avenue looks, the more people it will draw.
"I think this new look is good for it," Haskew said. "I like it being more pedestrian-friendly. It's going to be a bear for cars, but great for people walking. Making these two lanes would limit who needs to be there."
Haskew said he's heard of other schools doing similar things, and likes the direction of this reconfiguration.
"I mean, I think it's good," he said. "But bad at the same time because traffic will be a nightmare. But I think in the long run, it could improve the look of the strip tremendously, because you could have things like more trees and other more appealing things to look at besides wires hanging over your head."
Cumberland Avenue isn't the only place getting a makeover. A total of $16.5 million will be spent to cover the roofing costs of over 100 roofs that have incurred since the hailstorm in April 2011.
As many as 10 buildings need to have some sort of structural repair done including Andy Holt Tower, Pasqua Nuclear Engineering and the Hesler Biology building.
Hodge's Library Commons will also be experiencing some new renovation funded by student library fees that will include more group study areas, updated furnishings and a relocation of the Research Assistance Desk to a more visible location just inside the main entrance. This should be ready at the beginning of September.
This upcoming spring, students will be able to use the new intramural fields, The fields are part of a 38-acre complex, part of Third Creek Greenway that will house more students to participate in intramural sports.
And of course, one of the most noticeable construction projects happening on campus is the new Student Union being built. A new bookstore, Career Services office space and dining facilities are part of Phase One that will complete in the summer of 2014.
One of the most heavily populated buildings on campus is the Humanities and Social Sciences building. Just less than 20 percent of the student population uses the building, and those that do will find new high-tech facilities, new furniture and advanced classrooms where the front of the classroom could be one of four walls with chairs on a swivel. The hallways become a study place in and of themselves with benches, boards, and electrical outlets. Students will also enjoy two new food vendors and an outdoor seating plaza on the east side of HSS that will be completed in the early fall.