Anyone who has stepped on campus recently must have noticed the insane amount of construction in progress. Everywhere you turn, there’s another gigantic hole in the ground, or the steel skeleton of some building-to-be. Apparently, winning a few of those Nobel Prizes means we get some extra cash in the bank.
or the record, we are currently: renovating the Arbor store, building a Life Sciences Building, refurbishing and adding to the Psychology Building, building a giant campus parking structure, adding a Student Resource Building and of course, our crown jewel – the California Nanosystems Institute (for studying my roommate’s incredibly small penis). That doesn’t even include the brand-spanking new Intercollegiate Athletics Building, the Marine Science Research Building, the retrofit of Francisco Torres, the Rec Cen expansion or the tasty De La Guerra Dining Commons that was closed during my freshman year, forcing us to eat at Ortega (or as I like to call it, “Carrillo’s Leftovers”).
There are a few inconveniences that must be dealt with while attending school at a half-finished campus. For example, the unannounced and indiscriminate closing of crucial bike paths – the route you took to class will probably be gone by the time you leave, forcing you to take an unmarked detour and bike home across a hazardous mix of uneven asphalt, loose dirt and fallen freshmen. Plus, I like the fact that they put the portable bathrooms right next to the path I take, so every morning I can look forward to biking through a cloud of fermenting shit. Sometimes I make a game out of it and try to guess what the workers ate the night before. Every area under construction is surrounded by chain-link fences, covered with green canvas to keep out prying eyes – because without that, there would be a line of people a mile long, jockeying for the best spot to watch some guy stack cinder blocks. Also, who’s in charge of that model of the campus on the eighth floor of the library? That beauty is rapidly in danger of becoming outdated.
In front of each site, there’s a huge billboard with renderings of how the finished building will look. This is so that everyone walking by can stop and stand in awe of the architectural piece de resistance that will be the Alumni House. One night, I’m going to rearrange all the signs so they’re in front of the wrong buildings, then watch one of the workers stand in front of one in the morning and yell to his buddy that they’ve been putting it together completely wrong. Better yet, I should just plant a board in front of my house with a huge picture of Shaq’s mansion – “Coming soon!”
I also like seeing all the heavy-duty construction equipment that’s used to put up these new structures: Bulldozers moving massive piles of dirt, trucks carrying loads of building materials and cranes that soar into the sky. I saw a backhoe, parked next to a machine called the “Ditch Witch.” If that’s how you name construction machinery, I’m going to start my own equipment company and sell an earth digger named the “Trench Wench” and a lumber-sawing tool called the “Plank Skank.”
With the university spending hundreds of millions of dollars putting up all these shiny new buildings, I have a question: Where the fuck is the Broida bike path? This plan has been talked about for two decades, we voted in favor of it, and the university has already spent tens of thousands of dollars on consultants. Consultants? Give me a piece of chalk, I’ll show you where to put your goddamn bike path. We’re paying $600,000 to lay down the world’s most expensive 350-foot strip of asphalt. What does it take to get this thing built – a Nobel laureate? Evidently, that’s not enough. The people in charge of the “Broida Expressway” are moving slower than Silvergreens.
Finally, there’s one construction project I think everyone can agree is desperately needed: A water slide from the DP bluffs into the ocean.
David Fuad is a senior Psychology and Law & Society major.