Fairfield University is currently in the process of executing several construction projects around campus: a new School of Nursing, a new dorm for students, renovations to the Barone Campus Center and a parking garage in front of the Aloysius P. Kelley Center. In addition, the University’s brand new Leslie C. Quick Recreational Complex was completed before the start of the 2016-17 school year. The big question is whether these construction projects should have been started sooner, as the seniors will miss out on these new improvements. It is my opinion that construction projects are very tricky to time out because no matter when a university begins a project or projects, there are always going to be students graduating who are going to miss out on the improvements.
If the construction had been scheduled for two years ago, then the seniors two years ago would have missed out on the improvements. While the current seniors will not get to enjoy the construction being done on campus, it will overall bring improvements and positive changes to our University. I think that the biggest blow to seniors is in regards to the nursing students because they will not get to enjoy the brand-new state of the art Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. However, one of the most prominent concerns for seniors does not seem to be that they will be missing out, but the current inconveniences that the construction causes on campus. Senior Meaghan Day says, “As far as missing out on the new Barone, it is not a big deal. The construction itself just makes getting around campus that much more tedious and causes parking issues and some extra travel time.”
After interviewing about 10 sophomores and juniors, at least eight of them agree that this construction has made life much more tedious on campus. I feel that this could have been started in the warmer weather. This is because the cold winter weather is not ideal to be walking around construction and adding travel time to student’s everyday routes. I also believe that summer construction would be better for the Barone Dining Hall because at this point in time it is extremely overcrowded.
While seniors may be upset about missing out, there is a lot that goes into big construction projects, including funding, approvals, time and space. This means that it has to be just the right time for a project and these factors were not in place to allow the current seniors to reap the benefits of construction. Sadly, for the class of 2017 the timing is right now and though they are missing out, the returning students will be faced with many benefits when the projects are complete.
The current time was just the right fit for Fairfield University to undergo this process, as it is its 75th anniversary, which marks a big year here at the University and these new improvements will not only be aesthetically pleasing, but they will bring major improvements to the school as a whole. New underclassmen dorms will provide more housing availability, potentially as a building for Honors Program students. Additionally, a new parking garage will aid with the current overcrowding of the University parking lots and the Tully will offer new food options. Lastly, a new building for nursing students will allow them to enter into even more advanced practices in the nursing field.
So to answer the question of whether or not this construction should have been started earlier, I think that while it is unfortunate for the seniors who will not get to enjoy the improvements, at least they are being made and will benefit students at some point in the near future. The quality of this University will be greatly enhanced by these projects, and as long as they are being started, it is a great accomplishment for our University that will allow for a multitude of benefits in the coming years.