PUC is slowly outgrowing the land on which it stands
The issue: Gyte Annex is far out-dated for the needs of PUC
Our stance: PUC needs more academic space
Recently, a plan was announced that involves shuffling faculty offices around campus like a bad game of Tetris. The move comes as an effort to vacate the aging Gyte Annex building, which for years has grown mold, posed health problems and has visibly fallen apart on the inside. The 60-year-old structure has received little renovation, and has undermined the growth of the campus. Many faculty members have raised concerns about departments being relocated, offices being swapped and learning space getting replaced by more offices. While their concerns are legitimate, so are the plans of the administration. But there is still an issue which rises above all of this: What does PUC need the most, and where should its priorities be?
In 2008, $2.4 million was granted to PUC in order to demolish Gyte Annex and replace it with the long proposed plans for the Emerging Technology Building, originally proposed in 1997 and scheduled for work to begin in 2009. Obviously that building does not exist, and for whatever reason that plan fell through. Maybe it is time to reconsider. With funding always an issue for large-scale projects, a dilemma arises.
There have been discussions of a new Fitness and Recreation Center building, rumors of a third phase of the University Village and efforts to bring 12 new NCAA Division two sports teams to the campus rosters. Sure, that all sounds fine and dandy, but how can these plans be achieved if the academic buildings are either in dis-repair or too cramped to house an efficient learning/working environment?
What this school really needs is to fix what is broken first before making grand plans such as these. Take the campus computers for example. Many are equipped with outdated hardware, take forever to log-on to and are constantly crashing, making typing a paper or navigating Blackboard a headache. Or how about the cramped classrooms of the Gyte building, which clearly have desks designed for children? That building has also shown signs of aging. Some of the bathrooms look like Freddy Krueger could be lurking in the walls.
It would seem almost certain that if PUC decides to begin any project on campus, tuition rates would skyrocket. One would think that students would prefer to pay for a new science building instead of a new fitness and recreation center. Whether for or against,his campus is and probably always will be a commuter-campus. There is only so much space to be reckoned with, so the only way to go is up. Perhaps a second parking garage is in order. It would sure provide enough room to construct another building, whether it be for labs, offices or classrooms.
While most people want Chancellor Thomas Keon's vision of PUC becoming a "hometown university" to be achieved, there is work to be done first. Replacing and or renovating deteriorating academic buildings and providing efficient academic space should be the top priority. Seemingly, money is tight these days, but clearly the Annex continues to shine on the outside, but rot on the inside. The time has come to erase and replace.
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