The construction work going on around the GPC Clarkston campus caused much chagrin to many students. The majority of the work took place on the exterior and surrounding walkway area of the library, although there was some construction on inside the building itself, a central node of the campus walkways.
While some days caused only a small detour for students, other days caused some students to walk halfway around the campus just to enter the library. Sharzad Ghasemshahi, a second year biology major on Clarkston campus, is among those who were not happy with the extra walking caused by the construction. “I really hate it, It’s so inconvenient… I have to go all the way around the campus just to get to the library,” said Ghasemshahi.
Chelsea Bradley, a journalism major on the Clarkston campus, also felt the pain of a farther trek and the muddled detour routes. “I feel it’s really inconvenient, I think they should have done it when we weren’t in school,” said Bradley.
The prevailing attitude of most students seemed to be that the construction caused quite a delay for them, but when looking a little deeper into the issue one may find that there is a method to the madness.
In a small tour of the now renovated library facilities he showed an eye for detail and a deep desire to produce an environment that was suitable for students to pursue a higher education.
“When we started it, we had a terrazzo that was all cracked up, the floor had stains that couldn’t be removed, the safety strips had worn off, we had doors that had to be chained to be locked because they didn’t work, and the handicapped doors didn’t work, so it was kind of what I would say you would call a facelift,” said Julius Whitaker, Director of Library Services. The renovations were not limited to the inside atrium, but also extended outside to the exterior as well, which was the main cause of frustration for most students.
“They’ve cleaned everything… before it was filthy dirty, and what they did was pressure wash the windows and walls and re-caulked the building… and the goal for the re-caulking is to stop the leaks, if you go upstairs, on the fourth floor, you’ll see a major leak on the right and left sides where the carpet is wet, so the caulking is to stop all the leaks. In the auditorium, they’ve put in all new carpet, all new lighting,” said Whitaker.
While some students believe the work could have been completed while school was out of session, the reality of the situation is the work was begun much earlier than this semester. “It’s been a major facelift that started last summer, we’ve been at this for a minute,” said Whitaker.
At this point in the tour, Whitaker explained the main purpose of all the work being done and how it helps to contribute to the success of the student body. “This was all part of the college trying to give students spaces, we have some new furniture in the student center upstairs, there’s an admissions office that’s being put in on the second floor… So it really has been a big project,” said Whitaker.
Whitaker’s ambitions for improving the building does not stop there, he intends to keep working until all needed improvements have been made. He also isn’t deaf to the frustrations many students have over the work.
“You’ll be seeing some more changes in the future, but this was a massive project that everybody is kind of a little sick of, because we keep changing the directions of the walkways,” said Whitaker.
It appears that though there was a mild inconvenience in the flow of students around the campus, the positive results for the student body far outweigh the costs.