Construction work on the expansion of Dyche Hall, home of KU's Natural History Museum, should be done in about six weeks.
A longtime eyesore of torn-up sidewalks and grass, yellow perimeter tape, orange barricades and construction equipment along Mississippi Street at Kansas University should be gone in a few weeks.
A construction crew has been working since last September on a 10,000-square-foot, four-story addition to Dyche Hall, home of KU's Natural History Museum. The addition will be used for specimen storage.
"All the stuff (noise) that's disturbing us in the main part of the building is done," said Brad Kemp, director of marketing and public relations for the museum.
Crews this week were expected to begin working on repairing sidewalks and landscaping, said Doug Riat, KU associate director of design and construction management.
The construction site is across the street and just south of the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art.
Once the sidewalk and landscaping work is done -- in about six weeks -- a compact shelving system will be installed in October.
The shelves will be pressed together, but rollers will allow museum researchers to get to the materials they need.
"With these shelves, all we'll need is one aisle for each room, instead of 10 or 12," said Jordan Yochim, assistant director of the museum.
Hundreds of specimens of fish, reptiles and amphibians, birds and mammals currently being stored in the main part of the building will be stored in the addition.
Space vacated by the removal of specimens may be used for laboratories or graduate student research areas, Yochim said.
"We're busting at the walls right now," he said. "So it will be filled."
The transfer of specimens will begin after the shelves are completely installed, probably in December.
Cost of the project is about $1.9 million, Riat said.
Kelly and Dahlstrom Construction of Topeka is the contractor, he said.
The changes will not affect any areas of the museum that are accessible to the public, Yochim said.