SRU maintenance staff should be more proactive

The Rocket
May 1, 2014

After a waterline break shutdown Bailey Library for a day and a half this week, students were forced to find alternative locations for completing work and studying for exams. The building reopened Monday, with the Career Education and Development office and portions of the Technology Learning Center sectioned off with limited access to continue addressing the break. The area is still sectioned off with caution tape, discouraging individuals from entering the area. 

It seems like everywhere you look, Slippery Rock University is in a state of dilapidation, and it doesn’t seem like much is being done to solve the problem. After all, the waterline break was just the latest in issues in the grounds and facilities at SRU, some of which pose as potentially dangerous.

Miller auditorium has been closed in order to treat the asbestos in the foundation. Plans to demolish the building and build a new performing arts center were reconsidered for smaller scale renovations to the already existent building in a cost saving effort. 

The large pothole by the art building presents a danger and unsightly problem. It at least had a wooden board placed overtop of it recently, but the board has since been removed.

Finally, the bridge to Spott’s World Cultures Building is still blocked off after being discovered as “structurally unsound” last semester. 

The actions of the university to closedown the library, Miller, and the bridge were all student-safety first decisions, which we are in full support of. However, more and more it appears that the “solutions” for these problems are nothing more than temporary fixes which fail to fully address the situations. Part of the problem here is that improvements are only considered when a problem arises. When this mentality is applied, we see exactly what is happening at Slippery Rock- two new problems for every one you “take care of.”  You can never keep up and are left in a frantic state of constant renovations. 

Ideas that would actually offer improved conditions for students, such as the demolition of Kraus Hall to create additional parking are on hold. In the cases of Miller, potholes and the bridge, improvements can clearly be seen, but are being put off or flat out unaddressed.

There needs to be a closer look at updating the campus, not simply repairing it. 

Maintenance should not just be about bringing quick fixes to the table when issues arise, rather should have a more proactive stance on keeping our university up to high quality, safe standards. It is time for Slippery Rock University to stop coming across as a work in progress for problems in terms of safety and construction and to become a place that is always being enriched. Obviously that can be difficult with people depending on facilities daily, but with the summer arriving soon we can only hope that large projects, such as the replacement bridge to Spott’s, will take off successfully and efficiently. The quick fixes can be translated into permanent solutions for the students and the university can move forward in offering improvements to the campus to enrich students’ lives. In the meantime, brand new ionic columns were just installed at North Hall, so be sure to check those out.  

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