Communication by all key during construction years


Staff Editorial

Issue: Communication between administration and students about construction on the Avera Health and Science Complex is lacking. Congestion of pedestrians and bicycle riders makes the current detours dangerous and inconvenient.

SDSU is experiencing expansion unparalleled in its 126 years of existence. Several buildings are near completion, laboratories will receive much needed renovations and a brand new dorm is in the works.

In the heart of campus, construction has turned over familiar surroundings. The Avera Health and Science Complex will further SDSU’s academic status exponentially with its added classrooms and facilities. However, that time will come sometime in 2010 – two years from now. In the meantime, students, faculty and staff are dealing with traffic woes, along with the inherent fear of a bicycle hit-and-run.

Pedestrian pathways through the middle of campus have been both eliminated and narrowed, as many readers have already noted. Routes to buildings like the Intramural Building and Yeager Hall have been detoured, as well as other buildings like Shepard Hall. We agree that ample space is needed for construction supplies for workers to operate efficiently and safely. However, encroaching on an already narrow sidewalk with trailers and other equipment does not help the situation.

Students would feel better if we were communicated to more about the changes to campus, especially with our campus e-mail and notification systems. Setting defined construction areas and available routes to students could help alleviate some of the tension felt by pedestrians. Take, for example, the construction materials sitting on the east-west section of Rotunda Lane. Currently, the only noticeable barrier is a string of yellow flags running around most of the perimeter. If that is the only thing stopping someone, it causes confusion and potential injuries. Larger, sturdier barricades and fences to differentiate what is or what is not off limits are needed. If possible, a dedicated biking lane would help keep traffic flowing in an organized fashion.

However, the current on-campus problems do not rest solely on the administration or construction workers. Students are also at fault in making the current situation worse. Large groups of slow moving people are easy targets for bicycle-related accidents and the general scorn of others trying to make it to class. Keeping to the right-hand side of the path could cure plenty of headaches, especially with increased bike traffic due to oil prices.

The hectic situation on campus will eventually pay off. While we wait for our reward, let’s work together to solve our problems. After all, getting to the Northern Plains Biostress Lab from Binnewies Hall is hard enough.

Stance: Everyone needs to work together to make the best of the situation. Students need to abide by safety regulations and common sense. Administration must explore and be vocal about all options with moving students, faculty and staff around campus safely.