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Monday, August 3, 2020

OPINION: Evaluating Carver Construction

Since renovation began on the Sam Carver Gymnasium last July, there have been numerous complaints regarding the now shambling building.

The noise pollution from debris falling from Carver has disrupted classes in nearby buildings like Miller Hall and the Fine Arts Building.

Pedestrians walking in front of Carver have had to scrunch together from the lack of room on the walkway since a large portion of the sidewalk has been fenced off for safety purposes. Bikers and skateboarders have had to dismount their transportation to prevent further discomfort in the walkway area.

These circumstances are all inconvenient, but the larger issue is that many students and faculty were unaware of this project’s existence until it was already happening.

This is a classic case of poor communication from those in charge of the project. As an institution of education, Western’s first responsibility when disrupting the educational process is to their students and they have, for the most part, failed them in this situation.

If students knew that some of the structural components of Carver dated back to its original construction in 1936, then they’d probably overlook a crowded walkway.

If skateboarders were told the renovation will add space for more classrooms, then maybe they wouldn’t mind climbing off of their skateboards for a few seconds to help accommodate the transition.

Sophomores Evan McCarthy and Stephen Baddeley are both skateboarders and said the signs and precautions have not been enough of an incentive for them to remove their boards.

In all fairness, there is a large sign along the northeastern side of the fence near Bond Hall, however the description is brief and inconveniently placed for anyone who doesn’t wish to go out of their way to find the information.

Western’s biggest eyesore right now is the Carver which is a major staple of Western’s Community: graduations are held there, sports events are held there, concerts are held there, Nirvana even performed there back in 1992.

With the building’s importance and the amount of disruption it’s $70 million renovation is causing, Carver deserves more than a few signs hung on a chain link fence.

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