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Construction inconveniences more than cars

By James Bright
On April 20, 2010

I'm all for improving our campus. That is until it hinders my comfort in a restroom.

About a week ago, I was being interviewed for a television segment I do periodically. During this time, the need arose to find a toilet, quickly. For me, using the restroom is an experience I like to do in calm bliss. To ensure I get this sort of euphoria, I use the same stall, in the same bathroom, in the same building 90 percent of the time.

This time, however, I was posed a bit of problem. My throne of choice was located on the other side of campus, and since construction began to extend the walking mall, getting to my haven isn't as easy as it used to be. I use to be able to drive right through campus, but now I had to detour all the way around, adding at least four minutes to my journey.

Now don't get me wrong. I think extending the walking mall is great idea. It promotes safety, cuts back on car emissions and saves commuters' gas. My problem is with the timing of this construction.

Why was it necessary to dig up the ground in the middle of the semester? It would have been much more pragmatic to wait until the beginning of the summer, when the campus wasn't flooded with students. Granted, it would have been a bit hotter for the workers, and I sympathize, but still, why now?

We are approaching finals, and trying to get to the Science Building is a quest in itself. The last thing students need to worry about, especially right now, is if they are leaving early enough to get to class. Pondering how to traverse the massive dirt pit between the Sam Rayburn Student Center and the Science Building should not be a question on a student's mind before a biology exam.

The simple solution is next time the university wants to promote walking, or any sort of construction that will inhibit travel on campus, wait until fewer people have to deal with it. This is one of the benefits to having summer and winter breaks. Aside from the issues it can cause with students, it also looks horrible for visiting parents, UIL competitions, or prospective students.

In short, a new building going up looks good. Massive holes all over campus, not so much.

Construction can be done during off periods and students can return to find new additions with plenty of time to figure out how it will affect their day-to-day lives.

As for me, I made it to my favorite spot of thinking, but just barely. Perhaps I'll have to find a new spot to finish out the semester. Regarding the future, I just hope A&M-Commerce doesn't inadvertently take my peace of mind and bowel away again.

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