Student Services Construction: What is the Impact on You?

In the last few years, construction has occurred at various areas throughout American River College, from the parking garage on the far end of campus, to the arts and theatre area, and now the Student Services building is getting an extension.

The sound of hammers, drills, and other tools ring throughout the surrounding area when workers are on duty, usually for several hours of the day.

But how do the various noises that come with construction affect students? Does having class in a nearby building inhibit the learning environment?

And what about faculty or campus staff? The instructional media building is only a few feet away from the construction zone. Offices within the building even have window views overlooking the work. The counseling and administration buildings are also nearby.

This is not to say the building extension is a bad idea, but simply, does it affect people or not?

Angel Savannah, a business major, has classes in the theatre department and says it does.

“They’re expanding and cutting classes (as a result of the construction) and I’ve talked to a few friends who said they have trouble getting gen ed classes because of that,” she said.

The noise and effects aren’t conducive to learning either, according to Savannah.

“It’s super disruptive. Dust comes through the ceiling (of some of the art buildings), there’s a ton of chemicals in those classes… They should do it at night, go work on it when classes aren’t in session,” she said.

Some, despite the noise, have no problem with it.

Kolleen Ostgaard, the dean of the student services building, is looking forward to the additional space.

“Despite the inconveniences, we’re looking forward to it. We’ll be able to much more efficiently serve our students, ” she said.

According to Ostgaard, the veterans resource center, CalWORKs, career center, assessment center, financial aid lab, and work experience and internship program have all moved down to Portable Village for the time being as a result of the construction.

Ostgaard acknowledges that having services in separate areas on campus can be both confusing and hectic, but stressed that in the end it’ll be worth it.

“On occasion, they let us know when they’re doing particularly noisy parts of the project. It’s difficult and confusing, but will be good to have everyone under the same roof,” she said.

Judy Parks, a culinary instructor at ARC, was teaching during the extensive construction in the arts department last year, and thinks any expansion of campus is a great idea.

“A lot of classes need updating. Maybe there’s a little dust and dirt, live with it. Look at the result,” she said.

Parks acknowledges that the sound isn’t always ideal, but says looking at it in the long run is for the best.

“They were drilling through our walls last year. It’s a short-sighted view to be frustrated now, they’re improving the campus. But I think deep down, students do appreciate it,” she said.

The Oak Cafe, which just recently opened, has nearly tripled Parks’ and her staff’s working space.

“I think it’s beautiful. I think it’s fabulous. It (the Oak Cafe) puts us on the level of other culinary schools in the area. It was like going from a shack to a mansion,” said Parks.

Construction on the new section of the building is expected to be completed sometime in the summer of 2015.

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About the Author

Matthew Peirson
Matthew Peirson is a third-semester student on the Current, where he serves as Co-Managing editor. He previously served as the Co-Sports editor and the Opinion editor. Matthew is majoring in broadcast journalism and plans to transfer after graduation.

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