Thursday, September 21, 2000
UC students find campus altered
Construction goes on, so does education
By Ben L. Kaufman
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Everything that could go wrong when the fall term at University of Cincinnati began Wednesday morning didn't.
It didn't rain.
Students didn't find construction fences and detours daunting on the main campus.
Firefighters didn't find a fire after their trucks rolled down University Avenue, through a new pedestrian mall, and up to Old Chemistry.
Work goes on near Zimmer Hall as UC's fall term begins.|
(Michael E. Keating photo)
| ZOOM |
And at the main gate on Clifton Avenue, UC's most visible ambassador of goodwill, veteran parking attendant Maha Groeber, had things under control.
They already know people who come through my gate where to go, she said. All summer, I've been telling new people what is happening.
Months of preparation paid off when the fall term began because the main campus has been ripped up in the largest construction binge in generations. Buildings are modernized, expanded or replaced and roads and sidewalks blocked and rerouted.
All summer, orientation programs for transfer students and more than 5,000 freshmen taught newcomers how to get around.
For those who missed Mrs. Groeber's gentle direction, she was ready with a smile and maps and the campus was punctuated by bright, large new signs pointing to various buildings.
Planners were sure there would be a choke point near the bookstore where two roads and four pedestrian streams converge.
So they stationed Officer David Henson and Woodrow Phelps Jr., an emergency communications dispatcher, there with a new VW Beetle and its conspicuous Bug Me logos.
They might as well been Maytag repairmen for all of the people who asked directions.
If anything, Wednesday was easier than many open ing days, Officer Henson said.
Pre-med senior Kerri Kober of Delhi Township found her way to the College-Conservatory of Music without help, ready for her class on Beginning Ballet Technique.
It's a mess, she said amid construction, demolition and swirling dust. It's just kind of confusing. There are detours and walls everywhere.
Also coping was Don McCauslin, a business sophomore from Delhi Township, headed for Lindner Hall with map in hand.
I couldn't get along without it, the transfer student said, waving a map with highlighted buildings where he has classes. It's a change from Wittenberg for sure, but I'm dealing with it.
People familiar with campus construction plans shuddered or shook their heads when they considered how much worse it will be in January when winter quarter starts.
Even more buildings will be gone or under construction then, and temporary structures will house displaced scholars and administrators across campus.
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