It’s All Under Construction, but Not All is Being Fixed

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Published March 20, 2019
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The Montclarion
Progress is being made on the College Hall construction project. The renovated facility is set to open in 2020. Rebecca Serviss | The Montclarion

One of the first sights a future Red Hawk gets on a campus tour of Montclair State University is the seamless uniformity of some of the surrounding buildings. Many of them follow the same exterior pattern of white buildings and red roofs.

Another aspect of these buildings that will catch their eyes is the fact that many of them are relatively new to the campus community, including the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences created in 2015, the School of Nursing created in spring 2017, the School of Communication and Media which opened its doors in the fall of 2017 and the Center for Computing and Information Science in 2018.

All of these new additions to Montclair State put it at the top of college lists for many incoming students, but there is one concerning aspect people spot during a tour that might put their commitment on hold as they question, “What about the other buildings?”

New buildings are continuously being built, but at the same time, many notice that others are being neglected. Just this semester, there have been two major building problems that occurred that could have been prevented if more thought was put into maintaining them.

On the first day of classes back in January, students were alerted about a flood that occurred in Bohn Hall, causing many classes that were scheduled to be held there to relocate.

A few weeks later, there was a sewage leak in Life Hall that flooded the area with contaminated water, which University Facilities deemed unsafe and caused thousands of dollars in damages.

With major problems like these instances occurring around campus, there are other minor touch-ups that students believe are necessary for their safety. One example can be seen on the ceilings in many of the classrooms in Dickson Hall.

As students take a glance at the ceiling tiles, many of them notice that some are either missing or look loose. While this may not cause a lot of damage to the building, if one of those tiles were to fall on someone, it could cause injuries, including concussions.

These small problems go unnoticed which can lead to future incidents, possible injuries and costly repairs. Many students believe these repairs should be made before future projects are scheduled.

One important thing students want to be getting out of these construction projects is safety improvements. After all of the major and minor incidents that have occurred in the past few months, they hope it is being thought of when these decisions are made.

However, there are also still current construction projects in Richardson Hall, Calcia Hall, Russ Hall, Bohn Hall, College Hall and another on the way for University Hall.

Last month, The Montclarion News Editor Heather Berzak reported that $4.5 million is set to be approved to repair the exterior of University Hall. While the university believes these repairs are necessary because the building is deteriorating, students believe otherwise.

Many students agree the 110-year-old College Hall deserves a well-needed rejuvenation, but others question the fact that their tuition for the next school term is going toward fixing the exterior of a 15-year-old one.

They might feel their money could go toward better things, like improvements that benefit them and minor interior touch-ups that make the buildings safer.

Students aren’t completely against the idea of continuing to expand and renovate the university, but they feel like they’re not getting a lot out of what is currently on the future project list.

The campus community is encouraged to speak out about their concerns when it comes to these projects, especially at the yearly tuition hearings. For those who want to know where their money is going next semester, they should listen in at this year’s hearing on April 10.

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