What a Fine Mess From Construction

Posted on May 4, 2011 by

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There's been restricted parking outside Hamer Hall since the construction of the Convocation Center.

By Nathan Wilder
California University of Pennsylvania is at the peak of a rebuilding stage. According to President Angelo Armenti, Cal U is scheduled to continue building new facilities and updating older establishments until 2023.

Cal U’s “Master Plan” features everything from a convocation center, which is currently being constructed, to a monorail system that will transport students from campus to the university-owned Vulcan Village apartments. One thing the plan did not anticipate was the amount of aggravation and  inconvenience it has caused students and staff, with the most prominent problems being noise and dust.

Students have begun to voice their complaints about the construction and its issues. For students who reside in Residence Halls E and Carter Hall, the noise has been especially unbearable. For former and returning residents in Carter Hall, the issue has been resolved with the completion of the parking garage. Junior Stephanie Bucek said she had trouble making it to morning classes because of  the constant construction waking her at odd hours.

“They would start working at five in the morning most of the time. It would wake my roommate and me up all the time,” Bucek said.

Those living in Residence Hall E struggle with a similar noise problem due to the development of the Convocation Center. Moreover, there is a sidewalk detour that directs much pedestrian traffic directly in front of the building and through the hall’s breezeway, causing other minor inconveniences.

Noise and pedestrian traffic are not the only byproducts of campus construction, however, as the mess left behind by dump trucks and other construction vehicles has been a chronic issue with those who park on campus. Students who own permits to park in lots 15 and 17 often return to the vehicles to find they are absolutely filthy. Dump trucks haul dirt through these lots multiple times a day, trailing dust behind them that settles in the road and on vehicles parked in the lots.

The dirt being hauled is from the construction on the loop road being built around campus to eliminate traffic through campus on Third Street. The dirt cakes the road behind Gallagher Hall and is kicked up into the air as vehicles travel on it. In bad weather, the dirt turns to thick mud.

Campus public safety directs all of the calls about the parking situation to the campus parking officials, who have remained reluctant to give any sort of reimbursement to anyone affected by the construction side effects.

“It’s hard to even keep your car looking nice,” said sophomore Nicole Chiado. “Once it rains, it gets dirty.”

While the issue may seem like one of little concern to outsiders, students who are forced to deal with the cleanup day after day are not willing to take the issue lightly. Some students have even toyed with the idea of switching parking lots, but not many have taken action.

“It’s just frustrating. Every time you go to leave campus, your car is a mess. I have to go to the gas station and wash my windows every time I leave just to see,” said Danielle Hidinger, a sophomore who resides in Residence Hall C.

“I’ve even thought about trying to move to another lot,” Hidinger said. She admits the problem won’t be a concern for her next year because she intends to live off campus.

While some students remain upset over the issue, others simply take it as a necessary evil. Miles Bennett, a freshman who lives on campus, does not seem to mind the frequent occurrence of dust and dirt as long as the inconvenience is beneficial in the long run.

“I don’t see it as a problem,” Bennett said. “If we have nicer buildings and a safer campus after all of it’s done, then so be it. I’m not going to complain.”

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Posted in: Issues