Facilities works to change campus appearance

Students bypass ongoing construction at the Art Department as they walk to class. 

Those who voiced concerns about the quality of the Music Building, Art Department and Memorial Amphitheater are beginning to see changes for the better.

Throughout the semester, The Flor-Ala published a series of articles in which students and faculty members described the conditions as less than favorable.

Last week a company hired by Facilities Administration and Planning began chemically cleaning the outside of the buildings, said Assistant Vice President Michael Gautney.

“It’s a start,” Gautney said. “The price we’re working with is $25,848.”

Freshman Ambreia McDaniel and Sophomore Kesha Evans said the work is not going unnoticed.

“It’s good they’re trying to fix the problems,” McDaniel said. “Especially with Preview Day and other events that bring a lot of people to campus, you want the students to think ‘I want to come here because the campus looks nice.’”

Evans said the work is proof the administration hears student concerns.

“It gives people a reason to talk and voice their concerns and opinions about their school,” she said.

Gautney said the plans for cleaning the building began in September, before student concerns were presented.

SGA Vice President of Senate Nick Lang said his organization has reached out to the department to request cleaning on campus since last year.

SGA requested a black substance that coats the top of Memorial Amphitheater be removed, he said.

He said he met with Gautney and Assistant Director for Facilities Administration and Planning Mike Thompson last week to discuss that and other projects SGA would like to see happen.

“The Flor-Ala’s articles really pushed this issue, and it helped a lot,” he said. “The Amphitheater is going to be chemically cleaned over Thanksgiving break.”

He said he also discussed other projects with Gautney, including getting campus maps and replacing the benches near the Amphitheater.

Gautney said the meeting puts the efforts in “preliminary stages,” and right not they are working to see what funding is available.

Lang said SGA hopes getting campus maps will help new students and visitors navigate to classes and other campus locations.

“(Gautney and Thompson) said they appreciate the issue being brought to their attention,” Lang said. “I’ve already scheduled another meeting with them so we can achieve our goals this semester.”

Gautney said the work on the Art Department and Music Building should was about 75 percent complete Nov. 7 and will continue during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“It is a start,” said junior Cody McGowan. “It’s nice to see them responding. There’s still a long way to go because the inside of the buildings are worse than the outside appearance.”