Mud problems prompt president to clean up campus

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Street parking on Dewey Place will be closed Monday for three weeks.

By Regis L. Roberts

The dirt that was dug up for construction on campus has been a real nuisance, especially when that dirt becomes mud.

President Robert Zeigler said he has been working with David Mrizek, vice president of college services, to clear the dirt out to make the campus presentable.

“This has been an ongoing saga,” Mrizek said.

He said he has been in contact with 3D Foster since Jan. 24 about covering the trenches that were dug to work on water mains near Fletcher Administration Center, Nail Technical Center and the new parking garage.

Any progress made patching up the trenches has been set back as a result of the rain over the weekend, Tim Rockey, dean of continuing education, said.

3D Foster is now working with the city to receive approval to tap into the water main on Dewey Place to be used to feed water into the new buildings. The water main on San Pedro Avenue that the college has been using is insufficient for the new buildings, Mrizek said.

Gene Rutherford, program executive for 3D Foster, said if all goes well, the trenches should be filled and covered in asphalt by the end of next week.

Zeigler’s desire to clear the dirt is threefold.

The piles of dirt, first and foremost, just plain look unsightly.

There has also been a problem when the dirt turns into mud following the recent rain. Students were getting their feet dirty and tracking mud into buildings, Zeigler said.

He said he wants to have the dirt cleared out as soon as possible, to dodge any rain that may come.

Finally, there is also concern for safety. “It could be a danger if somebody slipped,” Zeigler said.

The plan, Rockey said, is to clear out the trenches, fill them with caliche — a kind of limestone abundant in Texas that compacts well — and seal everything with asphalt.

Work on water mains will also shut down parking capabilities on Dewey Place from Main Avenue to St. Mary’s Street for three weeks starting Monday, Rockey said.

He said the street needs to be patched anyway, so the repairs are a good thing that needed to be done.

He hopes the street will look good as new, he said.

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