Another year, another round of construction projects at the University of Connecticut. While students have repeatedly poked fun at these in the past, even quipping that UConn is the University of Construction, the list is really quite impressive this year. North Eagleville Road is undergoing a utility line replacement that is playing havoc with students from dorms like North and Towers. Much of the traffic that is generally present on the road has been diverted to already congested areas on campus.
Construction at Gampel Pavilion, while solely focusing on the roof, has nevertheless closed the facility to events, such as volleyball games and First Night (the kickoff event for the basketball season.) It has been stated that the renovations will be finished before the 2017-18 basketball season, but the fact remains that projects such as this don’t always go according to schedule. If the construction runs longer than planned it will be a blow to the student body; attending basketball games is one of the most popular things to do at UConn. While watching workers walk up Gampel’s domed roof is admittedly kind of cool, it doesn’t hold a candle to witnessing a dunk being thrown down or viewing literally anything that the women’s team does.
There are of course a few other projects that are inconveniencing students. The construction of the new student rec center has played a part in making Hillside Road a one way road and sidewalk that requires a police presence just to keep people moving. This specific undertaking is especially irritating to upperclassmen who will not even be able to reap the benefits after “suffering” through the building process.
The bottom line on construction, however, is that it’s something that needs to be done. Infrastructure has to be updated, both to improve structures and to make sure they continue to be safe. Additionally, a college has to constantly expand what it offers to improve student life. While students now may gripe about not being able to use the rec center, there are plenty of exciting locations (like Storrs Center) that they reap the benefits of without having to deal with the development process.
It is probably good practice now to come to terms with having to sacrifice time and ease for the sake of an overall better product. By and large, America’s infrastructure is not a pretty picture, and a major overhaul may not be too far down the line. Maybe, if we understand the importance of construction now, we’ll be prepared to make similar sacrifices on a larger scale in order to ensure a better future and avoid a major structural failure that could result in catastrophe.