Students Pleased with Construction So Far


Erin O'Brien, Reporter

Major construction to the campus grounds is underway to prepare for construction of a new science building, and students say they are already seeing positive results.

Some of these projects include the painting of the doors in Gildea, a new parking lot next to Mercy Hall and some ongoing construction behind the fields and townhouses. Much of this work occurred during the summer break, but there is still more to come.

Mark Van Etten, Vice President of Finance and Administration, said the projects improve the campus and the lives of campus community members.

Over the summer, Gildea Hall had painting done on the inside of the building, and Van Etten said the building also received lighting upgrades so that all the hallways have “LED lighting, which use less electricity,” he said.

There are fewer trees and grassy areas, but there is more student parking.

“When we remove, we replace,” Van Etten said about the new parking area. The school has planted a lot of trees, where they had to “remove ones for parking,” but he added that the plants needed more relocation than removal.

This work is preparation for construction of the new science building “as there needs to be relocation of utilities that run through the science lot,” Van Etten said.

These projects must come first so that students and faculty have comforts on campus. Van Etten said the construction is time sensitive.

“The timing of when we can do [construction] is around summer and Christmas break.”

He explained that large projects must be done in phases to limit disruption. The bulk of the work is  completed during breaks, so that construction vehicles and trucks are not in the way of students, visitors, faculty and staff.

“We can take space completely offline without disruption. It is also faster and cheaper with no obstacles,” Van Etten said, adding that while it’s more productive to do things all at once, sometimes taking time is the best option for everyone.

The current project is to create a sidewalk that goes from the Anderson building all the way to the main arch entrance.

“The state provided funding for a safe walk path for students,” said Van Etten.

This arch pathway will be illuminated by overhead lights at night for extra security for students, and it will have a pathway for safe walking.

“I love all the new parking I get to utilize,” said Elizabeth Perfetti, a senior health science major with a specialization in patient navigation.

She said the new parking configuration is convenient for both classes and her residence at the townhouses.

“The arch looks amazing, and I like to drive through it again,” Perfetti said.

The newly renovated arch was under construction last semester and it is now open to traffic. Once construction on the new sidewalk is completed, students will be able to take a walk around campus and end up at the arch, or even continue their journey all the way to Passan Hall – all while staying safely on a sidewalk.

This is exciting news to junior biochemistry and pre-DPT major Laura Murphy, who is  a commuter. She spends most of her time in the science building and is patiently waiting for the new building planned for the future.

“Once it’s completed, I think it’ll look so good and make me excited to come into class to see all the beautiful new things the school will have,” said Murphy.

She said patience for the outcomes of the construction will “help out in the long run because we all benefit from it even though sometimes it’s frustrating.”