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Updates on Village convenience store, roadway construction

The delayed construction of University Village’s convenience store and roads have left many Village residents upset and concerned about the unfinished project.

“We are working to improve the roadways around the fraternity houses and Village,” said Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Gilbert Arias, who said construction should continue another four weeks.

Construction was originally scheduled to end in late January. The university was working closely with Facility Planning and Construction to install a drainage system that would reduce the massive puddles that develop after heavy rains.

When it opened in fall 2006, the Village was incomplete, lacking the promised convenience store and drainage system as well as the now-completed south garage and leasing office.

The convenience store is expected to open at the end of February. Mel Tenen, assistant vice president for auxiliary services, said it will carry a mix of fresh salads, fruit and frozen organic and natural products in addition to household goods, cleaning supplies and both paper and cooking products.

But Village residents said they are tired of all the noisy construction.

“The constant noise is driving me nuts,” said Trish Colatorti, a junior.

In an attempt to minimize inconveniences, Arias said that Student Affairs has avoided scheduling early morning construction, but some students said they are woken up at 8 a.m.

“They should lower the rent during the construction,” said Kim Doerner, a senior broadcast student. “It’s so loud it wakes me up in the morning. Streets are closed and cause traffic and less parking. I’m not paying top dollar to be woken up at 8 a.m. from construction noise.”

The university has made parking arrangements so that residents and fraternities impacted the most from the road closures and construction could park in commuter lots.

But even without such parking inconveniences, Rachel Skora, a senior, isn’t too happy about leaving her car in a designated Village garage because “all the dirt and rocks are bad for my car and tires.”

In response to the unpleasant aesthetic toll the dust takes on cars, Student Government has proposed that Village residents receive free car washes. Arias said that Student Affairs is looking into that idea.

Arias encourages University Village residents to let Student Affairs know how the Village can be improved by voicing both the positive and negative things about their developing community.

Arias hopes that the future of University Village will be “popular in a safe, clean environment.”

Erika Capek contributed to this article.

Jillian Moran may be contacted at j.moran@umiami.edu.

February 14, 2008

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