The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Construction ahead, still

Engineering majors Fabiola Ramirez and Chris Mason, left to right, discuss the project in the construction zone in the middle of campus on Dec. 1, 2011. Both are interns for Flintco, the prime contractor of the $52 million project. ()

This time last year, student Wayne Yoo could walk from the Performance Arts Center to the Physical Science building in fifteen minutes. He never thought it was a problem. The ability to walk diagonally through the quad made it fast and convenient.

This semester, however, moving from one end of the campus to the other has proved difficult.  

“What used to be a five-minute walk has now turned into ten,” Yoo said. “To get to my classes, I have to walk around the entire campus. Everything is blocked off so I can’t go through.”

The ‘New Commons Project’ began July 15 and will not be completed until 2014. By the end of the process, students will be presented with a new and much improved campus. The construction started with the demolition of the quad on July 15.

The quad allowed for easy access of all buildings across campus and was a place where students could sit in between classes. With the quad completely blocked off, students are forced to find different and longer routes to campus.

Chrisanne Knox, director of marketing and communications, said that while the construction may be inconvenient, it just isn’t a good enough reason not to do it.

“Is it inconvenient?” Knox said. “Definitely. But the project is carefully designed to minimize disruption as much as possible. It will be much better for our students when it is all done.”

By the end of the construction, two of the oldest buildings will be replaced. Student services will no longer be separated, but will be placed in a new building altogether.

After the second phase, the campus food services buildings will be replaced.

Lastly, the culinary building and cafeteria will be torn down to make more room for the new quad. Though students are going to be given an improved campus, some find that it isn’t completely worth it. Serena Padilla, who is in her third year at DVC, said she sees the construction as a big inconvenience.

“I understand that they want a better campus,” said Padilla. “But having the quad blocked off makes walking to classes twice as long. I mean, it’s great for people who are still going to be here; I won’t be here by the time construction is over, so to me it’s just troublesome.”

Student Fabiola Ramirez is interning with Flintco Constructive Solutions, the company that is responsible for managing the construction.

“People may complain about all of the construction,” Ramirez said. “But you have to give up something to get something. Look at the end result.”

Other students, such as Eddy Castenada, said they think the project will greatly improve the campus.

“Personally, I think it’s going to look great,” Castenada said. “I mean, I won’t be here when the construction is done, but I think DVC needs to kind of upgrade their look. It does cause some issues in between classes, but honestly, they don’t really have much of a choice. There’s no way to get construction done without some kind of annoyance.”

Students and professors are having to exercise a certain amount of patience. Reynolds Phish, a psychology major, said that his professors have been very understanding.

“Actually, I’ve been getting a lot of leniency in all of my classes,” Phish said. “A lot of my professors allow us to be at least ten minutes late before it gets counted as an absence.”

Sophomore Killian Holck, alternatively, found that his teachers were only lenient in the beginning.

“My teachers went easy on us the first two weeks,” Holck said. “Now, they’ve been really strict. The fact that there is construction going on is not an excuse.”

As construction takes up more space and causes more congestion, students are starting to accept it. Others are choosing not to let it affect them.

Lance Gegner, who is in his first semester at DVC, said that the construction hasn’t bothered him.

“Current students here won’t see what it is like [once construction is complete] unless they come back to visit,” Gegner said. “But it might be worthwhile for future students.”

While students have mixed reactions regarding the construction, most professors around campus state that while it may cause some issues, the improvement to the school is necessary. Sheree Lin, who teaches Chinese, said that the only disadvantage is that it is extremely inconvenient.

“I think it’s interesting that they chose to do it,” Lin said. “But it is improving the school.”

With the actual completion date three years away, each phase will be done separately so students will be able to see progress along the way.

“I want to see the place progress for the students,” said professor Kent Haldan, who teaches American History at DVC.

Even though three years may seem like a long time, the benefits of the construction will last much longer.

“The new project is very much focused on meeting the needs of our students,” Knox said. “We unfortunately cannot help the fact that construction is inconvenient. It always is.”


Staff writers John Kesler and Zuli Mohammad contributed to this article.

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About the Contributor
Christa Balingit, Arts and Features Editor
Christa Balingit was the arts and features editor in fall 2011 and spring 2012.

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Construction ahead, still