Opinion

Going the extra mile for University Village

As you may have already heard, something seems to have gone wrong at University Village – again. The much anticipated student apartments – the first new university housing in over forty years – have been beset by delays virtually since conception.

Originally meant for development in the early 1990’s, Hurricane Andrew’s devastation effectively tanked the project for over a decade. When it finally became feasible again, it faced a more pernicious obstacle – city politics. As many long-time residents will tell you, there’s slow and stubborn… and then there’s the Coral Gables City Commission. This obstacle surmounted, Hurricane Wilma caused extensive damage to Miami’s infrastructure, which combined with the normal economic growth of the area created a tremendous construction boom.

This may seem like a good thing, especially if you’re a construction worker, but as a consequence there has been an inability to keep workers on the job more than a few days at a time resulting in construction projects that experience slow downs, delays, and periodic work stoppages. Such is the case with University Village. Even UM’s effort to bring workers in from out of state hasn’t alleviated this trend – those workers end up leaving as well. Because of these delays, the Coral Gables City Commission won’t issue a Certificate of Occupancy until several areas around the completed buildings – such as the parking garages – are themselves completed.

Many people have been inclined to blame UM for this problem. To do so is not only unfair but completely unwarranted. UM has, while endeavoring through this effort in completely good faith, been confronted by obstacle after obstacle, all beyond its control. Instead of giving up on what has now become an extremely expensive and time-intensive journey of stress, they have been fighting to get it done since before I got here, and I’m now in my fifth year.

The administration has gone above and beyond the call of duty at every level. Since it was determined that all buildings would be delayed, the university went into overdrive to take care of everyone affected. In addition to housing students at the Holiday Inn, residents are being housed at two hotels in the Grove, the Dadeland Marriott, and even the Biltmore. Many hotel amenities have been arranged to be provided for free or at a significant discount. In addition, the university has added many additional shuttles and charter buses to get students back and forth.

While this hasn’t been completely flawless, UM has monitors at each hotel to report on shuttle usage and if they’re arriving on time and at the frequency advertised. If that wasn’t enough, students have been given free meal plans or dining dollars to purchase food anywhere on campus that sells it .

While other universities would have provided the minimum – Motel 6 or something similar and no amenities – UM has once again gone above and beyond the call in taking care of what is most important – you, the students.

Scott Wacholtz is a grad student concentrating in Middle Eastern History. He may be contacted at s.wacholtz@umiami.edu.

August 29, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

University of Miami head golf coach Patti Rizzo announced the 2018-19 schedule, featuring nine tourn ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.