Staff Editorial: WHERE WE STAND: Construction calls for compromise

At the beginning of November, construction began on a new science center at Lewis University. Right from the start, students could tell that the construction was going to cause inconveniences in their daily lives.

Sidewalks were blocked off, making it much more difficult to get into the Academic Building, and parking was strongly affected.

But lately, it seems that the construction has crept more and more into the lives of both students and faculty. During the second week of the month, the north side of campus was completely inaccessible by car for students and faculty.

The Commuter Lot was simply closed, causing bleed-over into the Fine Arts parking lot, as well as a newly created parking lot on the track.

Some of us have had to deal with these construction obstacles and possible safety issues on a daily basis. The inconveniences from the construction obviously weigh more heavily upon commuters in regards to parking issues, and even entering campus.

Facing that long line of traffic entering into school, for example, has become the norm lately, and has also added to the problem of scrambling to find a parking spot.

Photo provided by Carlo Calma

Not only are students facing the brunt of the construction, but faculty are as well.

The faculty members hit hardest by this new construction project are the professors and university staff who work in MacNamara Hall, east of the Academic Building.

The only sidewalk thoroughfare that connects MacNamara Hall to other buildings is a narrow walkway that routes people around construction, near Stritch Hall, and toward the Science Building. Outside MacNamara Hall, traveling on foot from the building to the Commuter Lot can be a hassle and could possibly cause safety concerns.

Because construction has closed off the sidewalk leading to MacNamara Hall, students and faculty members are forced to walk in the street, which is not ideal when commuter traffic and construction vehicles are traveling in that area.

Although construction has been a hassle lately, we do have to applaud the measures that have been taken to ease both foot traffic and commuter traffic on campus.

We realize, for example, that the safety of the community is always being recognized when a Campus Security officer directs traffic at various congestion spots.

And although a portion of the track had to be demolished, a parking lot was put in its place to accommodate the eventual parking problems when the Commuter Lot and the Academic Lot were closed.

While the new lot helps students and faculty who are missing out on the regular parking due to construction, members of the track team are the ones who suffer.

Because there is no outdoor track, the team will have to go to a site off campus three to four times a week when the outdoor season starts up. It is unfair to them that they can’t practice at their own school outside just because construction has brought on the need for parking.

Lewis will eventually build a new outdoor track, but it will not be during this school year.

All things considered, however, we feel the most important virtues to have during Lewis’ construction season are patience and compromise.

Students will just have to adjust to these temporary changes that construction creates, but the administration will also have to keep the concerns of students and faculty the top priority when making any adjustments as well.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, we ultimately know that all the hassle stemming from the construction at the north side of campus will ultimately pay off once the university gets this new science building.

But until the ribbon is officially cut for that new building, as James Taylor’s rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” goes, “We’ll just have to muddle through somehow.”

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