Yes, Marywood, change is hard

Yes, Marywood, change is hard

The Wood Word

ince the beginning of the spring  2014 semester, something has significantly changed at Marywood. Could it be the new courses or the fresh faces? Perhaps it’s the cold weather or the frequent snowfall? Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the enormous fence surrounding the entire Memorial Commons.

Shortly after Marywood’s groundbreaking for the Learning Commons in Oct. 2013, Sordoni Construction Services, Inc. has been working on this latest project.

The centerpiece of “A Bold Heart,” the university’s Centennial Campaign, the Learning Commons will boast a number of features from an automated book-retrieval system to various secure and comfortable study areas for students.

However, with the construction came a number of inconveniences to students, staff, and faculty, the primary issue being the fence blocking off a large portion of the campus.

The Memorial Commons served as the primary path between a number of buildings, including the Liberal Arts Center (LAC) and the Nazareth Student Center.

From the time the fence was raised, access to these buildings has been severely hindered. To get to certain buildings such as Nazareth, Madonna Hall, the LAC, and the Media Center, students must now navigate around the periphery of campus to reach their destinations. The extra walk is made even more inconvenient in the bitter cold winter temperatures NEPA has been experiencing lately.

Additionally, since the LAC is one of the most frequented buildings for classes, students, professors, and staff must adjust their schedules to ensure they are not late for their classes or work.

Outside the inconvenience the fence may cause, a number of different issues have occurred on campus as a result of the construction.

The start of construction also meant that the parking lot known on campus as “Little Naz,” where staff usually park, has become home to construction equipment and vehicles. Staff are now forced to find alternative parking, some as far away as the Lower Pit parking lot, a traditionally student parking lot. When staff members move their vehicles to student lots, students lose their spots. This problem has only been exacerbated by the mountains of snow from recent storms taking up several spots in nearly every lot on campus.

Even more troublesome for the campus community are the multiple power outages that have occurred since construction began. After a brief 20 minute power outage occurred in Maria Hall and the Center for Natural and Health Sciences on Jan. 28, another soon followed in the LAC and Regina Hall on Jan. 29, the latter lasting several hours.

Whether we like it or not, the construction, the parking concerns, and the inconvenient fence are here to stay.
Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer Joseph Garvey said that the fence is a non-negotiable issue. “The fence around the construction site is required by law for the safety of the employees, students, and visitors to the campus. It will be in place until construction is complete, probably 18 months or more.”

Although the fence will continue to be an inconvenience over the next year and a half, it is a necessary evil that will hopefully pay off with the establishment of the Learning Commons. So, just deal, Marywood.