Indiana Daily Student

Construction 'struction what's your function

When I returned to Bloomington early in August, the very first thing I did was drive north on Fee Lane.

Of all the wonderful things to do in Bloomington, my first choice was to drive down a road.

For freshmen who haven’t been here the past few years, this might seem a little odd. But anyone who had to suffer through the awful construction of Hodge Hall these past two years understands.

The construction slowed down traffic and made getting to class hazardous and hard.

So much so, that if you searched Fee Lane on Twitter when it first reopened, you would find students partying as if it were Little 500.

Finally, after months and months of construction, I felt like campus would finally be open and accessible.

The feeling of sheer joy in my heart was soon replaced with sorrow when I turned to see the Arboretum, one of my favorite parts of campus, was fenced off. My fellow Indiana Daily Student columnist, Claire McElwain, touched on this issue in depth earlier in the year.

IU is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The University must continue to upgrade to satisfy students and maintain a high positon in important magazine rankings. It must also comply with alumni expectations, or act quickly when it receives large donations made by people or oganizations that want to see change on campus.

In doing so, they must close down parts of campus, usually for an extended period of time.

For example, graduation this year, my graduation, must now take place outside at Memorial Stadium due to renovations of Assembly Hall, which guarantees it will be either 105 degrees outside or a torrential downpour reminiscent of the Great Flood.

Maybe I’m overreacting a little. After all, the University does need to complete construction in order to maintain a high quality education experience. Having upgraded rooms with the newest technology does make class more interesting. Construction in general isn’t the real issue, though.

The construction on campus would be fine if the University was more transparent about the construction projects. Multiple times over the course of my four years in Bloomington I have stumbled upon construction on campus that I wasn’t aware were even happening.

For example, last year when returning to campus the IU Art Museum lights were randomly shut off.

A part of campus that many students love was taken away in the blink of an eye. These sorts of incidents leave students frustrated, especially when there is little to no warning of the construction projects.

Informing the students of closings on campus in an efficient manner would help alleviate many of the negative feelings. Perhaps I’m naive, but I feel the Assembly Hall construction could have been designed to allow for graduation inside while still being completed in a timely ?fashion.

Now if you need me, I’ll be cruising up and down Fee Lane.

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