Construction Builds & Destroys

While construction on campus shows the university is on the move, some of it is leaving surrounding streets damaged in the process.

Construction of the new pharmacy building has left a trail of scattered concrete and gravel, sunken sewer drains and potholes on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Pershing and Bronough Streets. People who live along the street said they are not bothered by the construction, but the damage is an inconvenience.

“When it rains, my husband and some neighbors have to dig trenches to keep the gravel from traveling in our yard and flooding the streets,” said Ethel Madison, who has lived on the street for 24 years.

“They repaired (the drain) before, but then (the construction company) broke it again,” she said.

An official with the Peter Brown Construction Company, contracted to build the new pharmacy building said the company refused comment due to the policies in their contract with FAMU. According to the company’s website, its purpose is to provide superior service to their clients and to contribute to the well being of the community.

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean Henry Lewis III said the damage to the roads is severe.

“Serious damage has been done to the road. and the contractors should be held responsible for repairing the damage,” Lewis said.

Officials at Rickards High School said they had no problems with the company when it performed renovations on the school.

“They did tear up the grass, but they replaced it soon after the construction was complete,” said Allen Burch, assistant principal for facilities.

Lewis said the new building was expected to open by the beginning of the semester; however, construction delays pushed the opening date back.

“There is still some ‘punch list’ items that need to be worked out,” Lewis said. “We are planning on moving the first week of October-hopefully.”

“The cost and repairs of the damages are the responsibility of the construction company,” said Alonzo Wright, senior lab technician for the pharmacy department. “We’re doing a lot of construction projects. The repairing is based on the plans of the project.”

Gene Nicholoson, associate director of facilities, said FAMU is in the process of laying a storm water line from Carnegie Library to the new pharmacy building and a new steam line down Martin Luther King Blvd.

“It would make no sense to repair the damages and then have to fix them again if another mistake should occur.”