Detour will be problematic

Carlos Torres

Carlos Torres

The LMC College Complex has been under construction since December 2012 and is expected to be finished sometime during the spring of 2015. The completion of construction will put all student services into one convenient location, which will be located in the front end of the complex near the Math and Library building. Some of the services will be Admissions, Student Life, and the Scholarship Office.

Although construction always creates detours throughout the campus, the one coming fall 2014 may be the most inconvenient detour that has the potential to affect many classrooms and the flow of students who enter the complex. The main stair set and the entrance that goes through the nursing building would be completely fenced off, meaning there will only be three entrances into the college complex. These three include the entrance by the Planetarium, the entrance by the Art building from Parking Lot B, and the entrance by Music and Drama departments from Parking Lot C.

Now that we are limiting the entrances to our campus, the flow of student traffic will be narrowed down mainly toward the Art area and the Planetarium. This is where we encounter a new problem. The Planetarium hallway is not designed for a large flow of students constantly going in and out throughout the day. There are rows of classrooms in use throughout the day and they have little to no sound resistance to what goes on outside the doors.

They also have glass windows and doors with vertical blinds but the blinds are rarely closed by teachers. This will be a major distraction to all the students and instructors who have classes in this area.

Even if blinds are used to limit the visual distractions, there will still be many students constantly making noise that can be heard inside of the classrooms. There have already been many situations where teachers and students will open the doors to tell others outside that they need to quiet down. With this now being the main entrance, it will be nearly impossible for teachers and students to regulate the volume outside of their classroom because it will just be a constant flow of students walking in and out of that area.

The reason it’s worked so well with the hallway by the nursing area is because its design is made for keeping all sounds and distractions out of the classrooms. They barely have any windows and the doors are made with a thicker material that keeps sound out better than the glass doors we have near the Planetarium.

The potential traffic jam will increase near the Planetarium because students wait for their Astronomy class in the small square that has the doors to enter the complex. We can expect problems in this area if we do not find an alternative solution. Due to its convenience, many students will be using this route.

We could decrease the chances of problems if we try to adjust the construction around a front entrance near the Math and Library buildings. Rather than working on both sides at once, spread out the focus of the construction to just one side at a time. Ideally, closing the entrance by the nursing area would mean opening the left end, which is on the Math building side. Once the construction on the right side is completed we could open it for access and then complete the construction in the center and left while still having an entrance to the complex near the front.

The courses held in classrooms near the planetarium are paid for by students looking to take classes in a workable environment. Making that area one of the main entrances into the College Complex will decrease the quality of their classroom environment.
Although we can’t stop the flow of students we currently have, we could try to prevent the excessive flow there will be during the fall if the current plan remains unchanged. Every semester counts for students.