Construction updates for spring semester

The Pierce College Council and members of college administration outlined several updates to the construction projects on campus and announced future improvements to campus safety.

Administration officials announced a tentative start date for the north-of-mall construction and discussed progress at other sites on the campus.

“North-of-mall is underway and construction activities should begin July 31,” said College Project Manager Ed Cadena.

According to Cadena, the Shepard Stadium construction has moved along at a steady pace, with some piping already installed.

Meanwhile, trenching and installation of new fiber-optic communication systems in the Village are also in the works, and set to start in the next two months, according to the technology committee.

The sights of construction have become ever-present on campus, specifically in the buildings to the north of the Mall, where fences block pathways and corridors. The fences there are due to future plans for campus improvements.

While the improvements will bring certain benefits to the campus, there is concern among some students about issues that may arise from construction while classes are in session.

“I am taking very difficult classes this semester,” said Pierce student Kate Williams. “I need all the focus I can get and if construction is taking place while I’m trying to focus during a lecture it could really affect me.”

According to the LACCD building program, the trenching and installation of underground utilities throughout the campus is intended to upgrade water, sewer and gas lines, as well as electrical infrastructure and fiber-optic communication systems.

Fiber-optic communication consists of transmitting information from one place to another by sending light through optical fiber, and will greatly increase network speeds. The technology committee will oversee the fiber-optic communication system.

When asked about the Village construction, Technology Committee Co-Chair Wendy Bass said she was “not in the know regarding the construction.”

Paul Nieman, the director of College Facilities, shared some information regarding the fiber-optic construction.

“To my understanding there will be a weekly communication sent out,” Nieman said.

There is a lot of speculation and concern regarding the upcoming construction in the Village. Although the start date is unknown, the Technology Committee said in a meeting this month that construction is expected to begin in March.

Whether it will occur during class hours is yet to be seen, but if so, it may prove to be a nuisance for students and teachers working in the vicinity.

“It is hard enough to focus during class with all the existing distractions. I feel like if there is construction going on it will distract me even more,” said Pierce student Jackie Souvercaze. “It will really begin to affect me if I am trying to take a test and all I hear is the construction going on.”

Plans were also announced to make use of the empty space in the cafeteria next to the Library and Learning Crossroads. The Lovebird’s Cafe and Bakery, which occupied the area, closed down just months after it opened.

“Lovebird’s could not break even, but we are looking to put something into that space,” Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher said. “There are possible plans of moving the Freudian Sip into the new location.”

If plans to relocate the Freudian Sip come to fruition, it could potentially open up a fourth construction site on the campus.