UA construction projects greet parents
Parents of UA students were not only welcomed to a festive Family Weekend, but also the largest combined construction project in school history.
With the Integrated Learning Center and Memorial Student Union projects underway, transportation throughout campus was difficult while parking was nearly impossible.
Despite many reported complaints, parents said they were understanding and impressed by the potential benefits that the projects will eventually provide.
Ron Carli, father of undeclared freshman Jill Carli, said that construction has not affected his daughter.
"It doesn't disturb anything," he said. "It looks like it's going to be exciting."
Tucson resident Pat Grossetta agreed.
"I don't have any problem with it," Grossetta said. "I know its hard on the students and hard to get to class, but it is improving the campus. It is certainly worth it."
Despite the dilemmas that their children face, parents said the educational value of the school has not been compromised.
"I feel the school is trying to improve the kids' future," said Chicago resident Debbi Guglielmo. "In the meantime, she is getting a quality education."
But she had some concerns about her daughter's time at the school and the construction time frame.
"She probably won't see the completion of it," Guglielmo said. "She won't benefit from it."
Phoenix resident Bob Kraditz, father of media arts junior Miriam Kraditz, said he expected the inconvenience, but believes university officials will work with students.
"It's an inconvenience for students, but I don't think the education has changed," he said. "It may be more time consuming, and I would hope that professors take that into consideration when taking attendance."
University of Arizona officials said they tried to ease the construction traffic for parents with both signs and police-aided traffic direction.
"We did want to put up signs so parents who are interested in construction would have a way to find out about what is going on," said UA spokeswoman Sharon Kha.
Despite the university's attempts, there were complaints over the weekend.
"We're giving out maps. However, there have been a lot of complaints and confusion," said Juliet Hakes, executive director of Family Weekend. "Not being able to park was the most difficult part."
But parents said they are looking forward to the projects' completion.
"The hole is certainly impressive, but we can't wait until they put something in it," Kradiz said.
Other parents agreed.
"(The projects are) very well thought out, good security and a very impressive design," said Los Altos, Calif. resident Rodar Melon. "It's a sign of progress at the school."
The ILC and student union projects are expected to be completed during the summer of 2002.