Construction projects disrupt campus

Construction_webA lot of construction has been done on campus lately, and a lot of people have different opinions on it. Most everyone can agree that the Building 5 construction is somewhat a pain to deal with as far as sidewalk traffic goes, but is it worth it?

According to DMACC student Jennifer Leonard, it is definitely worth it. She is annoyed by things like sidewalk traffic and parking but in the end she says the construction will pay off.

“It is part of the process to make it a better place,” Leonard said.

DMACC student Brooke Slattery also agrees with Leonard. “Right now it seems like a pain and they could probably try to get it done before school, but I don’t know what their plan is,” she said.

Slattery also says that parking will be bad no matter what and that they should try to expand the parking lots.

Ned Miller, Executive Director of the Physical Plant, said that several things have been changed and improved with Building 5, and construction is on time for its completion. There will be an expansion of the building for three swimming pools as well as a recreational area.

One of the pools is an actual lap pool, which DMACC will use to partner with Ankeny schools. Another is also for sports as a therapy for both sports injured people and older people. Lastly there will be a plain recreational pool for people to enjoy swimming in.

He further explained that Building 5 will have a racquet ball court, a basketball court, walking track and weight room in addition to the pools and food courts. Overall there is a planned 100,000 extra square feet being added on.

As far as parking goes, Miller said that the overflow parking lots have been surveyed every hour these first couple weeks and have never been completely full, even at the busiest time on the busiest day. Although it is possible that some freshman might not know where the overflow parking lots are, they were informed via e-mail of the overflow lots. He says it isn’t a problem of where to park but it is a problem that people can’t park where they want to.

Katelyn Feagins, a resident of Boone and looking to major in Criminal Justice, has a problem with this though. Feagins takes a gym class but is now having to relocate to different places because of Building 5 construction.

Robert Bond, who is majoring in Marketing and is originally from Des Moines, along with student Chase Riggen also agree that Building 5 was planned poorly. They wish the construction was handled differently where only a section was worked on at a time. They both thought that the food trucks were a bad replacement to the cafeteria giving people more expensive and less healthy choices.

“It gives people an option but that’s about it,” Riggen said.

We now know that the food court is coming back and will have sandwiches, pizza, and a coffee shop.

The reason the whole building had to be taken down was because it is changing its heating and cooling system to the geothermal wells being built behind Building 24.

“Building 5 will be removed from the heating and cooling loops and will have its own using the wells,” Miller said.

The area behind the building is also going to have a 150-count parking lot added to it.

Both Riggen and Bond agreed that it is taking way too long to do and everyone has lost their main hangout location.

Another side-effect of the construction was that Culinary Arts students had to start their classes a few weeks late.

However, Ned Miller has informed us that this was approved by the board and that construction is on time.

Building 7, which houses the culinary arts program, will be getting a new reception area as well as a common area for events. Classrooms will also be remodeled.

Building 7 is due to be completed February of next year.

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