Construction obstruction

Students, faculty adjust to navigating new walking paths, finding open parking spots

The foundation for the new Campus Center and the three-story classroom building will rise in the area soon, but are not due for completion until fall 2016. Students are forced to use alternate footpaths around the site to navigate the campus.

By George Morin, Art Director

With construction ongoing in the middle of campus, students continue to find themselves adapting to the temporary footpaths to get around from class-to-class.

Business major Daniel Lee said, “Parking is a high commodity around here. I had to drive around the campus two times just to find a spot close enough to my class.”

The approximately $52 million construction of the new three-story classroom building and student activities building, also call the Campus Center, began with the demolition of the 57-year-old Student Activities and Humanities buildings before the 2014 spring semester.

Over the summer, Lathrop Construction, Inc. replaced pipes and sewer lines under Castro Street. The installation of these pipes over the summer was an “important” part of the construction since these pipes will be used for the new Campus Center and three-story classroom building, Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said.

The walking paths around campus are the same as last semester and now have signage to help students navigate their ways around the college, authorized by Disabled Students Programs and Services, King said. 

One path takes students between the Student Services Plaza and the Computer Technology Building. It goes across the footbridge and along a newly constructed pavement walkway behind where the Humanities Building stood, up to the Biological and Physical Sciences buildings. There is a wooden staircase on this pathway that restrict this walkway from being used by people in wheelchairs.

The other walkway travels from the Student Services Plaza across the footbridge to the parking lots that lead to the physical education complex, and then back across the car bridge to Library Drive, which leads students to the other side of the college by the College Bookstore and Subway.

The college has updated maps of the walkways available around campus.

Lathrop Construction, Inc. installed utility lines from electrical, gas and water lines during the spring semester. The foundations of the new Campus Center and the three-story classroom building have been installed and are in place, he said. 

“(Lathrop Construction, Inc.) are up to speed with the project,” he said. “I could see there being delay with rain in the future, but I’m sure they have planned for that.”

There are weekly construction meetings every Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the Applied Arts Building conference room where Lathrop Construction, Inc. workers and college officials discuss different issues and topics that deal with the construction on campus.

Lathrop Construction, Inc. publishes a weekly calendar that is available at every meeting, which includes construction updates.

“It’s a way we can keep in touch on issues and stay relevant with each other,” King said.

The campus has updated the maps of the student pathways around campus, as well as all pathways compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Due to the construction, the college has closed down Lots 5, 7 and 8 to store construction equipment and provide on-site parking for construction workers. This has led to less parking available for students and staff.

“I had to park all the way on Shane Drive this morning,” chemistry major Marisela Hernandez said. “I even bought a parking permit, but all of the spaces were taken in Lot 10.”