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Construction at UMBC — A Perpetual Nuisance

Frequent delays in construction pose a hassle to students

Few would argue that enhancement of our facilities isn’t a good thing, but could the campus construction have been planned better?

   The past two years have been marked by ongoing construction projects on campus. Many of them have helped streamline the campus and enhance its characteristic atmosphere. However, there were many projects that were overly prolonged by delays for no apparent reason, often to the detriment of students or faculty.

Many were upset by the work done to the traffic circle at the entrance to the campus, as it seemed to exacerbate congestion rather than alleviate it. Students have learned that stepping around a construction vehicle or trying to tune out the sound of a jackhammer is just a regular part of life at UMBC. This raises questions about the efficiency of the planning behind the additions to our campus.

Naomi Schumacher, a junior and computer science major said, “I do think it’s kind of ridiculous that we’re almost always doing construction somewhere and that some things under construction have been going on for a long time, but I don’t know if they ran into problems or anything like that during the process.” Her sentiment echoes through the student body at large, as many of us simply don’t understand the source of the delays.

On the other hand, there are students who don’t mind the ongoing construction. Alfred Hayre, a junior and information systems major, said, “They seem to be not too bad, they haven’t really affected me the few times I’ve had to walk around it.” Hayre represents a much needed call for calm.

Still, while the conditions on campus are more than tolerable, one has to wonder why the prolonged inconveniences have to be tolerated in the first place. Many of the projects were quite simple, yet would sometimes take weeks longer to complete than they would elsewhere. As students, we don’t know whether this is the result of mistakes in the planning process or unforeseeable complications.

This brings us to the crux of the issue – we simply don’t know. There hasn’t been an official statement about something that has become a constant of student life at UMBC, which reflects an administration out of touch with its students. A transparent administration makes for a happier campus, even if that means admitting to making mistakes. The community is mature enough to understand that mistakes are inevitable and acceptable, but needless bureaucratic red-tape between the students and the administration is not.