In preparation for the parking structures and the new student life and wellness building, Jacobsen Construction company erected fences that will remain until December 2013.
With a student population over 30,000, plus faculty and staff, Dr. Bob Rasmussen, Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President of Student Life, said the only reason for the fences is for the safety and protection of the whole campus. The liability is so high that the construction company is required to set up the zone.
“We know that if we put a sign that warned ‘stay out, there is construction going on,’ most people would chance it,” Rasmussen said. “Human nature is to try to find the shortest path and get to where we are going as quickly as possible.”
This kind of construction might not be new to those who have been at UVU for a while. The university is constantly working on improving its infrastructure. Due to the construction of the science building two years ago, students faced the same kind of inconvenience.
“During the winter, they had to go outside and across the parking lot because of the fencing of the science building,” Rasmussen said. He said the hallway that connected the hall of flags to the PE was shut down, and that it was a challenge with the new detour, especially when students are used to being inside the buildings.
The visitor parking has been moved, and the booth has yet to be moved to the west side of the library. Students, faculty and staff are asked to park there and walk to the LA building.
“Luckily, with this construction, people can stay indoors when the winter comes, even though it requires a little bit of walking,” Rasmussen said. “The inconvenience is the lack of parking, which is probably the biggest frustration people have, the inability to park as close and then the detours and routes that have to be taken to get tothe buildings needed.”
People coming from the institute building will have to
go south into the Losee Center or go along the sidewalk past the fences. Rasmussen said that this is better than the science building construction.
There is space set aside west of the library for visitors, faculty and staff. The parking garage east of the fence fits about 450 cars. A fee will be required for those parking there. Even though the parking lot will be accessible, the new building will not. Walking will be required to get around.
Joe Grimmet, 26, majoring in Computer Science, is not extremely enthusiastic about the fences as they have taken his disabled mother’s handicapped parking space. Gimmet said the LDS institute building let his mother park there.
“…But it is still a fairly far walk,” Grimmet said. “They should have made arrangements so that disabled employees and students who spend a lot of time in the student center could have closer parking available to them.”
On the bright side, Grimmet admits the new Student Life and Wellness building is bringing in more activities, an increment in fast food restaurants and larger health facilities.
“There will be an inconvenience for a short time. The results will be well worth it in the long term,” Rasmussen said. “It’s been a really thorough thought-out process and now we are to the point of building. It takes inconvenience to get it.
By Lesedi Botite