By Alma N. Maldonado
For the past few years, East Los Angeles College campus has been transforming into an example of modern architecture with the help of construction sites.
It is no secret that most facilities at ELAC were or are currently in poor condition, making renovations is absolutely necessary.
We have begun to enjoy the new structures like the Helen Miller Bailey Library, The E7 Technology building, F7 and Parking Lot 3.
Compared to the previous buildings, these are obvious vast improvements that we can all now reap the benefits.
“To better the needs of students, facilities must be planned, developed and maintained,” as stated the ELAC Facilities Master Plan of 2009.
The Facilities Master Plan explains how the LACCD decided to have all this construction to accommodate California’s growing population.
New buildings mean more classrooms, therefore more classes.
The County of Los Angeles passed a bill, with the help of Los Angeles voters.
Proposition A/AA and Measure J Bond measures that allowed reserving money from a tax toward new construction for public schools.
The money that is allowed to be spent for classes is not going to increase. So how is it that more classes will be added only because we will have a greater number of classrooms?
The district has always had the financial means to fund for more classes, but did not because there were not enough classrooms.
Whatever the case may be, the construction sites on campus are not helping the conditions of those taking classes this academic year, or the next.
It seems as if all construction projects are held back by months.
In addition, the Los Angeles Times found that “at East Los Angeles College, construction of a grand entry plaza with a clock tower degenerated into a comedy of errors.
Heating and cooling units were installed upside down, inspectors found.
“Concrete steps were uneven. Cracked and wet lumber had to be torn out.
A ramp for the disabled was too steep for wheelchairs, and the landmark clock tower listed to one side.”
This might be the case with the other construction sites that seem to take forever to finalize.
The workers of Pinner Construction and HGA Architects are working as diligently as they can.
The toll that these sites are taking on our daily schedules are affecting our education.
The noise created does not stop at the door of the classrooms, it causes students to have a hard time concentrating on a midterm or final from the sounds of heavy material falling, the beeping of the trucks as they are backing up, or the power tools drilling a hole into hard concrete.
The construction workers are scheduled to work from 6 a.m.to 2:30 p.m., which coincides with classes for most students.
Unfortunately, it is not only the noise disturbing the day; it is also the delay these constructions are causing.
There used to be pathway open from the back to the front of the school between E7 and F7 down to the library and E1 complex.
Now, we have to walk all around the two combined construction sites. To get to F7 or E7, prolonging the time it takes us to get to class.
Some of the pathways created for us are also a problem, like the one going along the library.
It also happens to be a crossroad to another construction site causing random halts to allow the trucks to drive back and forth through it.
The pathway with the closed top running along the E1 complex is way too narrow. Many students find themselves rushing to class, but going through there slows them down.
People might run into a couple holding hands and taking their time while the student who is rushing cannot find a way to get around them, and it is a long tunnel-like path.
The best situation, however, is when you strategize getting to class by dodging all the places that most likely will slow you down.