Construction Means Students Will Have to Pass on Grass

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By Vincenza DiMaggio
Contributing Writer
Published: March 31, 2011

At last, the sky has ceased to unleashimg its snowy fury upon us! As temperatures finally begin to rise, Fordham students are more than ready to stop hibernating and relish in the warmth of the sun. For many of us, springtime at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) brings to mind images of students socializing on the Plaza grass. In one corner of the Plaza, a student might be enjoying a book as she lays on the grass, with her back to the sun, shoes off and feet kicked up in the air. In another corner, a group of boys might be strumming away at their guitars, occasionally dodging a flying Frisbee or football. But this year, and for several more to come, the not-so-pretty gray fences, mounds of dirt and orange tractors that are tearing apart the grass area for the construction of the new law school and residence hall will paint a very different picture of springtime on the FCLC Plaza.

The new, 22-story building, which is set to open in 2014, will be able to accommodate 473 residents, and by supplying more office, program and event space, will double the size of the law school program. The new building is not only to offer students more space but also to attract more students in the future. In order for this to happen, current students are forced to make a few sacrifices, but some are not sure if it is worth it.

One of the greatest complaints about the construction is the noise that echoes through McMahon’s residence hall windows. At 7 a.m. every morning, students are awoken from their much-needed sleep by the shrill sounds of the drill, the continuous clanking of construction equipment and the droning “beep-beep-beep” of the tractor as it retracts its claw from the earth. Iris Zalun, FCLC ’11, said, “I suppose the construction is great for the future and reputation of the school, but in the early hours of the morning, all I know is that I hate the noise.”

Residents are not the only ones affected by the sounds. The irritating, mind-numbing thuds of equipment reverberate through the book-lined walls of the Quinn Library, making it difficult for students to concentrate.

While the noise is a nuisance, it is not the only cause for opposition to the construction of the new building. Many students are wondering why Fordham is embarking on a new project when there are still so many things that could be done to enhance the already-existing campus.

Hadley Judge, FCLC ’11, said, “Why isn’t the money that is being used to fund this project going into improvements of the buildings we have right now, like our cafeteria, dungeon of a library and our pathetic gym? I think Fordham should fix the things that actually need it before expanding. It will attract more students in the long run if we can boast a lot of great facilities.”

There are, however, many students who look past these issues and support the campus expansion.

As a visual arts major, Matt Anderson, FCLC ’13, offers an artistic perspective on the project.  “I’m excited that it’s designed by the firm of I.M. Pei and that they took its relationship with Lincoln Center into consideration. It’s important to understand that, aesthetically, buildings interact with each other just as much as they do physically. The construction is noisy, sure, but it’s all a part of living in a city that constantly evolves. It’ll be a great addition to our campus and to the Lincoln Center complex,” Anderson said.

Hillary Reeves, FCLC ’11, laments the fact that the Plaza is being torn apart. She often enjoyed studying outside in the fresh air instead of the stuffiness of the library, but as president of the A Cappella group at Fordham, she understands the want for the extra space. “We definitely need more space for extracurricular activities, student resources, classrooms and dorm rooms, so this first phase of the massive construction project is exciting to see underway,” Reeves said.

The construction of the new building on the Plaza is seen as a necessary step in allowing FCLC to reach its full potential and be recognized as an esteemed institution. In the meantime, the next few classes of incoming students will miss out on a signature FCLC experience. The Plaza grass was one of the few places where students could find a moment of quiet, take a break from demanding homework assignments and escape the hustle-and-bustle of city life, but Ashley Louszko, FCLC ’11, remains positive and offers Central Park as “a convenient and great alternative. I think the end result will definitely be worth the sacrifice of the Plaza.”