University Village highlights bigger problem

As luck would have it, the University Village has been delayed yet again. As students shuttle back and forth from campus to various hotels on a daily basis, one can’t help but think that the University should have seen it coming. After all, the massive real estate and construction booms in South Florida didn’t happen overnight, and the University has the resources to not only anticipate such a mess happening, but also to take adequate measures to deal with it.

To the University’s credit, they are handling the situation well by putting students in hotels, offering timely shuttle service to campus and offering $20 each day in dining dollars to every displaced student. Even though the mess shouldn’t be a mess, now that it is, the University is doing the best it can, and for that, they deserve credit.

However, for the students who have had their move-in dates delayed four times, it only goes so far. And they’re not the only ones affected by construction delays. The new buildings for the School of Communication and the School of Nursing have also been delayed, resulting in inconvenient changes in classrooms. In the former case, students have been taking 30-person classes in Comm School classrooms meant to hold half that, not to mention those students sitting in dark sound stages attempting to take their class notes. The fact that the new Communication building is now a year behind schedule only helps to rub it in more.

So the bigger question is, if projects like the University Village and new School of Communication building are already marred by delays, what will become of future construction projects, including the ambitious plan to completely revamp the University Center? If the Village is any indicator, we could be stuck without a University Center for a long, long time once construction begins.