The problems of progress

If you have been late for class, had a hard time finding a parking space and trying to figure out where your organization meets, you are part of the student population experiencing the renovation effects of the Lowman Student Center.Some students complain of the inconveniences, despite approving the renovations by an online vote in April of 1999 and therefore agreeing to a $40 increase in the student services fee.Although construction began in early December, some students are just now beginning to experience the effects of the renovations. Student Cordia McKenzie said even though classes just began, she has already been late to class, courtesy of the renovations.”I had to walk all the way around the Smith-Kirkley parking lot just to get to the mall area,” she said. McKenzie said when she got to the mall area, she had a hard time getting through the crowd of students to get to her classes.”That area is too narrow,” she said.Keith Jenkins, acting director of the LSC, said he hopes students like McKenzie will traffic through the Lee Drain mall area.McKenzie said she could tolerate the inconvenience for a while, but hopes the renovation does not take long.Jenkins said it should be complete in 16 to18 months.There have also been complaints of the limited parking spaces in the Smith-Kirkley lot.Jenkins said there has to be a staging area for workers. He said the lot between the Music and Criminal Justice Buildings, which are designated for faculty, will now be for students.”That will take place immediately,” he said.Despite McKenzie’s personal concerns, she said she thinks the renovations could also be bad for prospective students.”No one wants to come to a school where all you see is dirt and a huge fence,” she said. “I believe visitors will also be immediately turned off.”Jenkins said the fence is there because there are certain safety guidelines the university has to meet. “That fence follows safety guidelines” he said.Although some students are having problems with the renovations, officials said the LSC have not been experiencing any and everything seems to be well underway.”(It is) going right on target,” Jenkins said. “Everything is smooth.”All offices that were housed in the LSC are in the Frels and Wilson Buildings, which are across the mall area and face the LSC.

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