Photo contains: two construction workers working in a trench in the dirt to fix water pipes.

In defense of LBSU’s construction problem

My first semester at Long Beach State was Fall 2016. From then until now, I’m not sure if there’s been a single day when some kind of construction wasn’t happening on campus.

Construction can be loud, ugly and in some cases incredibly inconvenient; but ultimately, it’s necessary.

I’m not saying I enjoy the disruption that construction brings, because I agree that it’s super annoying, but I think we as a campus community should try to see the big picture.

As a student, you’re only going to spend a few years maximum at a university. This might feel like a long time, but university lifespans are measured in decades, not years. In some cases they’re measured in centuries.

Because of this, institutions have to consider the long run when thinking about facilities and maintenance. Construction of a modern state of the art building doesn’t take a week; it could take years.

Long Beach State is in a season of looking toward the future. From the mascot change to the Beach 2030 initiative, we’re trying to figure out exactly what the school’s identity is going to be in the coming decades.

The reality is, there probably aren’t very many students, faculty or administration members around right now that will get to see these changes come to full fruition. But that doesn’t mean the campus shouldn’t carry them out.

I understand complaining about construction, I do it all the time. Last year when they rerouted everyone around the University Telecommunications building to work on a ramp, I was ready to karate chop someone’s face. But to say these minor inconveniences should keep the changes from happening is short-sighted.

The brand new Student Success Center opened its doors this semester after workers spent last year converting Peterson Hall 2, a building that was built in the ‘50s. The new building is environmentally sustainable and has state of the art lab and studio space.

It’s also home to the brand new Bob Murphy Access Center where disabled students can go for resources that will assist them in pursuing their degree.

All of these things are assets that will help the university for years to come. Should we have given all that up to save ourselves two semesters of extra foot traffic?

The Heating Hot Water Infrastructure Project is an important piece of on-campus maintenance. The project itself however is pretty disruptive. Not only is there a bunch of ugly blue fencing by the bookstore, but it’s affecting things like traffic flow and the bus stop availability.

Should we really ignore the need for hot water to shave a couple minutes off our commute?

There’s an old Greek proverb that says, “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Construction can be frustrating, especially when it feels like it’s never ending. But by biting the bullet now, we ensure that our fellow students and future generations get the best chance possible to succeed.

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