Campus construction commotion continues

Shawn Collins, Reporter

With renovation projects around the Campus Center and Veterans Hall approaching the one-year mark, and subsequent projects slated for the gym and Math-Science buildings, it looks as though the campus will remain a construction zone for the foreseeable future.

Students like Psychology major, Jocelyn Lopez, and Sociology major, Adrianna Munoz, are happy with the idea of an updated campus, but remain indifferent to work, as they know they’ll likely have moved on from BC before its finished. 

Many newer students are even less concerned over the renovations because, so far, a campus under construction is the only one they’ve known. 

While most students were largely unbothered by the detours and disruption, a handful of students did express a desire to see the work come to a speedy end.

ASL student Nicole Long, noted that one of her predominantly silent classes found it quite hard to concentrate, as the noise of a relentless jackhammer permeated the walls of the LA building, last semester. Communications Major, Arturo Valle, also voiced mild concern over the work because the relocation of student health services and the Renegade Pantry made them further to get to and harder to find. 

“I hardly used them before,” Valle said, “but I felt reassured to know where they were in case I needed them. I know more or less where they are now, but it was definitely more convenient to have them all located in the center of the campus.” 

Since the closing of the Campus Center, last November, those services have been moved over to Levinson Hall, just south of the library for the remainder of the project.

Food Services has also been relocated and can be found in the Huddle in front of the gym. 

Detours have been outlined to provide students with safe alternative routes around the worksites, and special considerations have been made to safely accommodate students with disabilities, according to DSPS director Dr. Terri Goldstein. 

One example is the application of full-length fencing to cordon off the worksites. 

Blind students, who navigate the campus with the assistance of a cane, might easily step across a caution tape barrier into dangerous work zones, whereas the fencing would prevent such accidents. 

Another consideration is the increased number of shuttle carts available around the campus, which ensure that students who require wheelchair access, are able to get to their classes without being hindered by the many slopes and stairways that dot the current paths of travel. 

Furthermore, disabled students who’ve registered with the DSPS office, are able to schedule pick-ups to be shuttled directly from one class to the next. 

“It is our goal to ensure that construction has a minimal disruptive impact on students, staff and faculty,” says Manager of community relations Tamara Baker. 

She acknowledged that students and faculty have been very understanding as they’ve adapted to construction on campus but would still like to emphasize the importance of maintaining a “Safety First” mindset. 

“Student Safety is of the utmost importance to Bakersfield College. 

We ask that whenever on campus, please be aware of your surroundings, and refrain from looking at mobile phones when walking across campus.” 

Currently there are 15 active measure-J-funded renovation projects, which means, for better or worse, that the student body will have to continue to adjusting to life in a construction zone.