You’re walking to class, headphones in, sunglasses on, listening to No Name’s latest album when suddenly you’re shoulder to shoulder with another student trying to walk at a snail’s pace to avoid bumping into the mass of people around you. You’re blinded by ugly orange signs that litter these once gorgeous and unproblematic grounds.
It’s true – the University of Nevada, Reno will be up to date with the latest architecture and improvements – but you’ll probably graduate before you ever see it complete.
This campus has a construction problem. It seems that whenever we get blessed with another area being reopened, another walkway gets closed off. I’ve seen more “Road work ahead” signs on and around this campus than I have driving through the entire state of Nevada. My professor had to stop lecturing to explain that hearing concrete slabs hit the ground was normal on this campus.
Between Great Basin Hall, a new fine arts building and demolishing half a dozen houses on Evans. No matter where you walk on – or off — this campus, your risk of walking in to a bright orange cone increases significantly. All of these buildings and projects have their purpose, I just won’t be around to see them or benefit from them.
It’s frustrating that we are forced to adjust our walking paths, get stopped on Evans for 10 minutes while it’s down to one lane and dodge every warning sign when we’re just trying to get to class. We’re here suffering through small walkways, inadequate buildings and endless construction while the next generation of Wolf Pack students get to have a modern campus with victorian-esque charm.
We undergo these harsh conditions for the greater good of UNR students. If anyone is “taking one for the team” it’s the current crop of students who are forced to suffer the distress of construction on campus.
Not all of the construction is terrible. Some of the construction on this campus has been to make a more ADA accessible campus which is not only beneficial for students with disabilities but for everyone. Gender neutral bathrooms have been added to make for a more inclusive campus. These improvements show that inclusion is important to this university.
The two greatest construction projects in the past five years on this campus have been the E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center and the Pennington Student Achievement Center. Their construction was frustrating and trying but the buildings we got in return were incredible.
Wiegand is undoubtedly the superhero of buildings. It’s hard to imagine that students ever bought semester passes to Lombardi to work out in a terribly small gym. Now we get to reap the benefits of a gym that rivals that of Lifetime Fitness. Even though Wiegand eliminated some prime parking in front of the Joe Crowley Student Union, it still was a great improvement.
The Pennington Student Achievement Center is the melting pot for all of UNR’s resources. Whether it is the writing center, counseling services, or the disability resource center, when you walk in to Pennington you have it all. Pennington also has new computer labs, quiet study rooms and a solid cafe which makes it almost impossible to leave the center. A solid addition that is a JCSU 2.0.
If history repeats itself, maybe we’ll get some incredible additions to campus – but until then, I’ll be punching every orange cone I see.
Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or of its staff. Jacey Gonzalez studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.