Work on buildings demolishes morale

As students flood onto campus this week, they are faced with many different construction projects. These projects offer a bright future for long-term students, but currently the construction makes the campus difficult to navigate, dangerous and unsightly. With more careful planning, the University could have finished projects without giving students a torn-apart campus.
The majority of the projects were started this summer with a few not started until only a few weeks before students began to take up residency on campus. Most of the projects have yet to see completion, and some projects will not be finished until 2002.
Because the University has such a large campus, a typical trip to class could take up to 20 minutes. This time has been further increased because of construction blockage around campus. The renovation of Ford Hall has closed the walkway between Ford Hall and Vincent/Murphy Hall. The sidewalk on the south side of Washington Avenue Southeast in front of Millard Hall will be closed through the duration of the demolition of Lyon Labs and Millard and Owre halls, which are expected to be completed in the winter of 2002. Already there has been a considerable amount of traffic congestion on Washington Avenue because of this demolition. Even the West Bank was unable to escape the construction. The walkway across Washington Avenue to Willey Hall is currently fenced off because of construction.
It seems as if when considering construction schedules, officials failed to take into account the dangers of construction. Large machinery and falling debris from buildings are dangers that students should not have to worry about while on their way to class. Unfortunately, these construction and demolition materials are essential to the projects, but the added dangers are just a lawsuit waiting to happen for some unsuspecting student. The large number of students on campus only make the risk of accidents greater.
Seeing the campus in such a ripped-up state is depressing. Ford Hall, rather than being a center for learning, is now merely a gutted building, and the view from Washington Avenue is the demolished remains of three halls with a long history. Bright orange fencing has replaced walkways and pavilions. In addition, the renovation of Coffman Union will soon leave a large, empty building at the end of the mall.
All the construction around campus is enough to make a student wonder how much attention the University is paying to its current students. If officials had taken into consideration the number of students on campus, they would have realized how inconvenient the construction projects are. Construction offers obvious benefits for future students. However, current students are paying tuition and should also be able to enjoy a pleasant campus rather than a maze of orange plastic and danger signs.