Construction on Campus: What's the Impact on Students?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- The face of Arkansas State University at Jonesboro continues to evolve.  Several construction projects are currently underway on the campus, so we wondered what impact, if any these hard hat areas have on students trying to make their way to class.

"The first few weeks are always really bad anyway," said student Anthony Moore.

But this year, one contributing factor is the construction work on campus.  There are currently four projects going on right now including the building of honors residence halls, new student apartments, the Reynolds Center for Health Sciences, and The Delta Center for Economic Development.  The Delta Center is being built right along University Loop West where many students travel.

"You can tell its only two lanes.  When it was four lanes it was already backed up," said Haley May.

"Just getting through to the parking lots is what's really, really harder," said Moore.

But Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Rick Stripling said the change was unavoidable.

"Actually, because of the construction and having to add on a construction fence, the road has now become a single lane as opposed to a four lane," said Stripling.

Stripling said he understands this is making things a little harder on students.

"It slows the traffic down part of their estimated time of getting to a destination," said Stripling.

For students who live on campus and walk to class, these projects might not be having as much of an impact.  But after we get through the first week or two of classes, traffic on campus should get a little better.

"We've done a lot of moving the dirt around for the good of the students.  All of these are going to be for their benefit whether, they live on or have classes in these facilities," said Stripling.

The four projects currently underway are expected to be finished by fall of 2009.  Another project will start soon on the east side of campus.  Construction of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center will start in Mid-September.  That project is expected to be completed by mid Spring of 2010.

Another project that is currently going on is a new parking lot on the north east side of campus at the corner of University Loop and Johnson Avenue.  This new parking lot will add 110 new spaces to campus, helping replace 90 that were taken away as part of the construction process.