Construction Update: No end in sight

On several sections of campus, there are new construction projects underway.

According to Brian Murray, director of Construction at the College, although there are many projects currently underway, the College is trying to get as much construction done as it can before the Sesquicentennial in 2005.

According to Murray, the largest project on campus at this time is the new library, which is being built where the old chapel used to stand, next to the West Library.

Many students are opposed the construction of a new chapel and new library. Daniel McGovern, junior physics education major, said, “There is no need for a new library and the consequent destruction of the only building with character on this campus – the chapel.”

Murray, however, believes a new library is necessary because, “library sciences have changed and the physical constraints of the West Library inhibit library staff.”

The construction of the library has just begun, but is on schedule to be finished in the fall of 2005. After the new library is completed, Murray said, the College will begin to renovate the West Library to accommodate another department on campus.

According to Murray, the new chapel will hold 200 people and be 4,000 square feet.

The chapel, currently under construction, is located in the field across from Norsworthy Hall. According to Murray, the chapel’s construction is on schedule and should be finished this spring.

Murray added that the Science Complex, also under construction, will be finished by a new contractor. Murray said this was an eight-phase project that was stalled several times due to problems with the previous contractor.

However, the final phase of the Science Complex, the link between the Physics and Chemistry sections, should be finished in approximately three weeks.

The landscaping in the middle of the complex and on its lakeside should be completed by this winter.

Also, Murray said, the Metzger Drive parking garage is also under construction, and should be completed in the spring of next year, at which point Lots 6, 6A and 6B will become softball and soccer fields.

The time span of this project is an inconvenience to many commuter students, as it can be difficult to find a parking spot. Patrick Shea, senior communications major, said, “I missed an entire class looking for parking. I showed up at 12:15 for a 12:30 class, and was still looking for parking at 1:05.”

According to Murray, Campus Police make rounds of the parking lots every few hours to examine spot availability and have found that some times are problematic.

The College is dealing with this issue by opening up other parking lots for students when necessary.

The final construction project is the Metzger Drive student apartments, which are modular buildings that will be delivered to campus in December. These apartments should be ready for students by next August, according to Murray.

He added, however, that students will not see an end to construction on campus before they graduate. Two of the many projects on which construction has not yet begun are a new event center and more student housing.

Shea said he feels “highly perturbed at the College’s ‘spin job’ regarding all these construction issues. The fact remains that there has been no construction that has or will benefit me in any way by the time of my graduation, three years later.”

Murray said with all of these projects, the College is trying “to cause as little inconvenience as possible to the students.”

Lauren Svec, freshman political science major, believes that the construction is an inconvenience at times.

“But, overall, it’s going to improve the campus and we just need to realize that,” Svec said.

– Information from