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Editorial: Future benefits outweigh construction's chaos

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 10, 2000
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Being an Arizona Ambassador at a time when much of the University of Arizona's campus is concealed behind construction fences can't be an easy task.

Prospective students - and their parents - want to know when renovations to the Memorial Student Union and the construction of the Integrated Learning Center will be completed.

Although it is not in their job description, the ambassadors are doing the right thing endorsing the various construction projects around campus.

"We try to put a positive spin on the construction, especially for the freshmen," Arizona Ambassador Andrea Marconi, a political science senior, said last week.

It must be hard facing swarms of inquisitive prospective students, but the group of tour-givers should be commended for their presentation of our campus.

Not because they're putting a "positive spin" on the situation, but for telling the truth.

True, our campus is in a state of chaos right now.

The largest Zone One parking lot on campus - just north of Coronado Residence Hall - is currently operating at about 40 percent capacity as the new five-story Tyndall Avenue Garage is being built. Ask UA commuters what this has done to their schedules.

Construction around the Student Union has severely increased pedestrian congestion, as students, faculty and staff have been herded into select walkways to get around campus.

The underground ILC has eliminated a good portion of the UA Mall, with the obvious hole in the Mall and a new parking lot for construction workers taking the place of the grass.

But potential UA students need to realize that the future benefit of these projects outweighs the temporary inconvenience being experienced by our community.

When completed, the $25 million Tyndall Avenue Garage will have about 1,000 parking spaces, an increase of about 570 from the original Zone One lot.

More parking spots on campus will be a relief to the thousands who fight for spaces each morning.

The $60 million worth of renovations to the Student Union will give us something the UA has been lacking - a facility that offers an expanded cafeteria, lounge area and computer access.

Students utilizing the ILC, which UA administrators are hoping will improve freshman retention rates, will have easy access to advising and computing facilities, not to mention their classrooms.

When the ILC is completed, students will even get a good portion of the Mall back for recreational use.

The Arizona Ambassadors might not be able to convince every person who takes a tour of our university, but their efforts are no-less commendable. Their job is not to lie about how wonderful life is with bulldozers and fences dominating the campus, but rather to help prospective students see the long-term benefits of the projects.

This editorial represents the collaborative stance of the Arizona Daily Wildcat Opinions Board.

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