Improvement to minimize disruption is more hassle for students and faculty.
By Sasha D. Robinson
Vaughn Construction is putting in a new water line for this college between Candler Physical Education Center, Gonzalez Hall, chemistry and geology building and Scobee Education Center.
John Strybos, vice chancellor of facilities operations and the construction management, said in a phone interview Oct. 16 that the work is to help improve the campus with putting in a new water line.
“The water line will go from San Pedro out into the main water line to the San Antonio Water System, and it has to make connection to the physical plant,” Strybos said. “Rather than disrupt the center of the campus all at once, we are doing it in pieces.”
Strybos said Phase 1 started by Candler and moved into the center of the campus.
Strybos said the new water lines were planned in phases to minimize disruptions to the students and campus and should be finished in spring.
In an email, Strybos described the project’s two starts:
- July 7 to remove the concrete in front of Gonzales Hall.
- Sept. 4 when the replacement for the water main started
Adding the water line cost $1,009,893 in district funds.
In an interview on Oct. 3, project Coordinator Ray Herrera said the city granted the project on June 1, but the project was not started until August.
“We have to wait for the city permitting,” Herrera said. “The city has to return the permit to us before we can start, and that took over a month.”
Herrera said the project was delayed because how long it took to get the permits from the city to start.
“When we get the project, we could not start until the city grants the permit,” Hererra said. “You do not always get the permit when you expect it. In this case, the city permitting took a while to review it so they did not get it to us as quick as we had hoped.”
Despite the delays of not getting the permits, Hererra said the project is on track to finish by the January time frame.
“Nothing starts until you get the permit from the city, but we are still on track,” Hererra said.
In an email Nov. 6, Hererra said the project officially began June 1 but the Bexar County Fire Marshall did not approve the work areas such as fire lanes and hydrants until August.
There are three additional phases that are projected through Jan. 5 and is expected to be completed by Jan. 14 for the start of the spring semester depending on weather delays or unforeseen conditions.
“There are a variety of projects that we are always working on to improve the campus, against the routine operations maintenance of the campus,” Strybos said. “This project can help identify the growth of the campus and water pressure and demands for the campus.”
Faculty and students at this college are not pleased with the construction around campus.
Kinesiology program Coordinator Brad Dudney said that the construction around Candler is an inconvenience but the staff can handle it to have their classes continue smoothly.
“We have made some adjustments,” Dudney said. “They have closed off the faculty lot that allows us to get to the tennis courts. To get the back yard, they built a fence so we can go out through the racquet ball court doors so we can get to the tennis courts easier with our students.”
Dudney said the staff is used to construction around Candler.
“We had the roof redone two years ago, and the project took a year longer than it was supposed to,” Dudney said. “We just roll with what is going on until it gets done.”
Patrick Elizondo, president of the Kinesiology Club and a work-study student in Candler said the construction makes it hard for someone to get to class on time.
“I learned which way to get to my classes and which route to take to get to class on time,” Elizondo said. “Sometimes, with the dust and their allergies affects some students, too.”
Anwar Abdalla, mechanical engineer sophomore, comes from weight training class in Candler and prefers to exit through the east door and not the main entrance of the building.
“It is harder to get to class, I guess because I have to do a big circle,” Abdalla said.
Kinesiology sophomore Brandon Yanez says that he uses parking Lot 21 next to Candler because of all the construction.
“It is kind of annoying actually because I have to go around,” Yanez said.
Linda Casas, facility manager for Candler, complained about a strong odor that was in the office area of Candler since Nov. 15 in an interview Nov. 16.
“We cannot work in offices like this,” Casas said. “This is not safe. Right now, everyone is sick to their stomach. It is unbearable. If they could have let us know that this occurred, we would have prepared for it,” Casas said. “We know they have to do what they got to do, but like I said at least they could have warned us.”
Casas said staff may hold classes in the other part of Candler to avoid the odor.
Strybos said the odor was a walkway sealer and the contractor will call the facility prior to the next sealing operation so air dampers can be closed in advance.