End of construction is in sight, but access is an issue


Gustavo Vasquez

By July, students should be able to use the new cafeteria and food services building. The cafeteria is expected to be operational by the fall semester.

Collin James, News editor

DVC is ready to begin a new round of construction upon the completion of the new cafeteria building. But in the meantime, disabled students will get little relief while getting around campus.

With the cafeteria on the verge of completion, DVC is preparing for a final phase of construction on campus that will include a massive landscaping project in the center of campus.

Chrisanne Knox, the marketing and communications director of DVC discussed the upcoming construction plans, including some of the paths that disabled students would have to take.

Knox acknowledged the troubles that Disability Support Services will face in getting students around campus.  DSS runs carts across campus to assist disabled students in getting to their classes, but the department has been strained since it experienced recent budget cuts.

“This is going to biggest challenge of the project,” Knox said.

For all students, the routes between the upper and lower sides of the campus will be limited to the pathways between the Math Building and the Music Building. This area will also be the gateway for construction equipment and vehicles, which will pass through Lot 1.

The Student Union Building, despite being adjacent to the construction site, will always be accessible. A path for disabled students has been ordered to be maintained at all times, according to Knox.

“[Disabled] students will not be cut from the Student Union Building.”

Jensen David, 22, a student worker in the Student Union Building, had concerns about maintaining the building so close to construction.

“We have a lot of people coming in, especially DSS students,” David said. “This office also handles all the clubs. Construction will be taking place right outside the main entrance to the Student Union Building, making foot traffic more difficult to navigate to this already busy building. It will take a lot of time getting used to finding an alternative path.”

As demolition and construction begins this summer, this will hinder many of the paths for students getting around near the the parking lots where certain paths will be cut off. Parking Lot 7 will remain open with its numerous handicapped parking spots available next summer and fall.

Construction of the new cafeteria building will be finished by this June. This is not far from the target goal of late May, and the cafeteria is expected to be fully operational by the fall semester.

The current cafeteria is set for demolition and intensive landscaping project will begin this summer to finish off the larger commons project. The first part of the landscaping project, the new north entrance, has just been completed.

The construction project is expected to continue at least until January 2015 with a new quad put in place for students to gather. The project will also include an amphitheater for outdoors performance.