Road work deterring motorists

Current road closures and construction activities on campus are affecting students and faculty members.

Construction crews are working on projects in front of Lee Hall and McGuinn Hall.

Some construction on campus deals with improving utilities. However, the construction in front of Lee Hall is a beautification project.

“We are putting colored blocks at the base of the steps,” Joel Lawson said.

Lawson’s company, Joel Lawson Construction Company was hired to take out the old concrete and replace it.

The construction in front of McGuinn Hall is Phase One of the Utilities Improvement plan.

“This particular construction will allow the entire campus to be on one piping system,” said Rod Whitefield, a supervisor for BAYOU Construction.

Whitefield said that in the past each individual building had his or her own HVAC (Heat,Vent, Air Conditioning) unit.

After the construction is finished, every building will be attached to one unit, which will be located in the Central Utility Plant.

Whitefield said the University uses steam for heat; therefore, the workers are installing a chilled water line.

“It’s really better long-term because it’s cheaper,” Whitefield said.

“You have to replace individual units every 10 to 15 years.”

The chilled water line should extend from the Perry-Paige Building to the Foote Hilyer Administrative Complex.

Phase One is scheduled to be done by Sunday.

Tal-Tran buses have rearranged routes for seven buses to compensate for the construction on campus.

Phase One of the project limits access to the parking lot in front of the dormitory and limits access to the Set.

Students who usually catch the bus on the Set have to catch Tal-Tran buses at new locations.

Dominique Smith, a nursing student from Miami, said the construction is an inconvenience, and could’ve been put off.

“I don’t understand why they couldn’t wait until the summer to start the construction,” Smith said.

The 20-year-old shares the feelings of many students who believe the construction could have been pushed back until the summer.

Smith said that students don’t have anywhere to sit while they wait for the bus at the new location and there is no shelter from the rain.

Although the construction may be an inconvenience to some students, others are hopeful that changes will make their stay at FAMU more comfortable.

“Everyone complains about the school being raggedy. If you want change then you have to wait for it,” said Efeme Imoubu, 19, a nursing student from Atlanta.

“Good things come to those who wait,” said the 19-year-old McGuinn Hall resident.

Thomas Scott, a transit services supervisor for Tal-Tran, said the station is accustomed to making detours around campus.

“We are just waiting on the school to tell us what to do next,” Scott said.

“They said they would be done in the next three months.”

Scott said he wanted to make sure the buses stopped at both ends of the Set when he designed the detours.

Scott said he hopes that students will become more familiar with the route as the construction continues.

The Office of Facilities Planning and Construction was not available to comment on the progress of the construction or the costs that may arise if the construction takes longer than expected.

Contact Sarah Chester at