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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Students Confused and Critical of Campus Construction

    The two students at the State University of New York at Stony Brook eatingtheir lunch in the Student Activity Center last week knew construction was goingon outside the building. They just didn’#146;t know what was being built.

    ‘I have no idea what they’#146;re doing out there,’ said Danae Abrahams,21, a junior. ‘I know that there’#146;s a lot of construction on campus,but we’#146;re not really informed about it.’

    Many other projects like what is being done outside the SAC are going on aswell. Construction seems to be everywhere on campus, but few students know whatis being built, why, or when the construction will stop.

    Though most don’#146;t know what construction crews are working on, theoriesand rumors abound. The work going on outside the SAC has many baffled.

    ‘I don’#146;t know, I heard they were putting a pool in, and then I heardthey were making some kind of Asian Center, so anyone’#146;s guess is as goodas mine really,’ said Ryan Robertson, 18, a freshman.

    ‘I think they’#146;re building some kind of recreation center there,’said Kevin Meade, 20, a sophomore.

    What is actually being worked on directly outside the Student Activity Centeris an extension of the building. According to Charles McAteer, an architecturalmanager in Stony Brook’#146;s Facilities Design and Construction Department,the new structure will house a wellness center, large ballrooms, an exhibitionarea and a courtyard between the existing building and the new one.

    McAteer was unable to give an estimated completion date, but said the structureis coming along. However, Stony Brook continues to be a work in progress.

    ‘There’#146;s always construction going on around here,’ said FedericoRios, 20, a junior. ‘I saw them building something in the middle of thewoods. I guess it’#146;s a dorm or something.’

    More than one project is currently being worked on essentially in the woods,among them, a new graduate apartment building.

    Phase II of the Student Activity Center is one of 27 construction projectsunder way or being planned by the Facilities Design and Construction department.Though construction for a campus recreation center is on hold, the Wang Asian-AmericanCenter has been under construction since September of 1998. A completion datehas not been announced.

    Though construction is a large part of what’#146;s going on at Stony Brook,some students said they feel it is not something they are fully informed about.

    ‘At the school I went to last year, St. Francis in Brooklyn, there wasa lot of construction, but they let us know whatever was going on right on theweb page,’ Rios said.

    The Facilities Design and Construction web page has a comprehensive list ofprojects on campus but it takes several steps to get to the page on the StonyBrook website. Once there, a brief description of each project is offered. Thelocation of each project can also be seen on a large, blurry and unlabeled aerialphotograph.

    ‘What bothers me is that we’#146;re students here and we’#146;re justnot informed,’ Abrahams said. ‘I mean we pay tuition, and we haveto see all this construction, and we don’#146;t even know what it is.’

    Students could gain some information about projects on campus, by finding thefacilities design and construction web page, but few know about the site tobegin with and knowing what is being built would only solve part of the problem.There would still be a great deal of construction on campus with no foreseeableend. Many students say this might not be the case if the jobs would simply getdone faster.

    ‘I don’#146;t know what they’#146;re making on the Student Activity Center,but I know I probably won’#146;t be around to see it,’ said Tom Curtin,21, a senior.

    ‘They’#146;ve been working on that a long time. They’#146;ve been doinga lot of construction all four years I’#146;ve been here.’

    Students seem to agree that once a construction crew begins a project on campus,they are likely to be around for a while.

    ‘It seems like whatever gets done around here really takes a long time,’said Robertson, who works for his father’#146;s construction company.

    Though construction on the Student Activity Center Phase II has been goingon for three years, and the completion date was set to be fall of 2001, workgoes on.

    While none knew where it was going, many students said that they were upsetthat they would no longer be at Stony Brook when the Campus Recreation Centerwas completed.

    ‘I think it’#146;s going to be really cool,’ said Meade. ‘It’#146;ssupposed to have a rock climbing wall and basketball courts and weight roomthat you can get to at any time, and I’#146;ll probably have graduated whenthey finish it.’

    Meade and other students concerned they may graduate before the Campus RecreationCenter is completed need not fear, for they will have access.

    When the center is finished alumni and staff will be able to use the facilitiesat a price. While current students will be paying a proposed $ 75 per semesterfor use of the facility, alumni and staff will likely be charged twice that.

    As the construction goes on, students also find it to be a potentially dangerousinconvenience. Many students walked the road behind the Student Activity Centerevery day during the heavy construction of Phase II, as large equipment rumbledback and forth across the job site.

    ‘That road can definitely be a hazard, but they don’#146;t really havea choice,’ Robertson said. ‘That road is a major artery to the schooland I don’#146;t think they could really get away with closing it.’

    Some students said that the road might as well be closed as it is.

    ‘You try to drive back there now with all the construction and you can’#146;tget anywhere, it’#146;s ridiculous,’ said Jon Contes, 20, a sophomore.

    Despite the inconvenience and confusion, campus construction is something thatmost students have come to accept.

    ‘I understand that they want to enhance the campus, and that ultimatelyit will make our school a better place,’ Contes said. ‘I just wishthey would tell us what they’#146;re building.’

    As the campus continues to be ‘enhanced’ though, students wonderwhen and if it will ever end.

    ‘We have no real end goal, but there are five year plans for constructionon campus, the first of which is just now ending,’ said Lou Rispoli Managerof Projects for Facilities Design and Construction. ‘There will be anotherfive year plan, but it is not yet fully formed. I would assume that there willbe construction and renovations on campus for at least another ten years.’

    At the very least, alumni and present Stony Brook students can rest assuredthat the tradition of construction on campus will carry on for classes to come.

    To view a slide show of the construction, click here

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