For the past four years our campus has seen the beginning of numerous construction projects to renovate Wooster Science Building, the Sojourner Truth Library, Lefevre Hall and several other grand-scale projects.
Though the process has been on and off in many cases, the projects have all resumed this year with clear end-dates now in sight.
We at The New Paltz Oracle commend the administration for their commitment to maximizing the beauty and utility of our campus. We understand the importance of creating facilities that uphold the standards of our college and we recognize the time, energy and labor required to carry out such projects.
The various renovations and construction projects are without a doubt long term investments in our campus that will only better our learning environment. Updated classrooms, study areas, dining establishments and additional residence halls will only raise the quality of life and education on this campus.
However, we worry that the constant pursuit of better facilities for the future will inhibit students in the present. Many on our campus have never experienced SUNY New Paltz without construction. In some ways, that’s more than a little troubling.
The changes, though ultimately beneficial, can often compromise the living and learning conditions of those who work and attend school here. The alternate, detour routes from residence halls to classroom buildings have become the only routes. The noise pollution outside the Humanities Building is an accepted annoyance. For many, their college experiences and memories include the hum of heavy machinery on the quad, blue fences and “pardon our appearance” signs.
A campus complete with all the necessary trappings of an institution of higher learning is obviously a shared goal. However, the in-progress nature of our campus, a inconvenient and aesthetically unpleasant as it is, ultimately sends the message that the best our school has to offer is not meant for current students.
During the school year and for our time as students, this campus is our home. To know that our home is going to be beautiful some day is assuring, but the appearance and quality of our campus today is still a primary concern.
We hope administration and those involved in the projects will seek to prevent future halts in the construction and renovations and that they remain transparent when new developments occur.
We believe keeping our eyes on the future is admirable, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the needs of current students in the process.