COLUMBIA - Summer at MU often means that Columbia residents and summer school students have to navigate through closed streets, blocked sidewalks and construction fencing as Campus Facilities readies for the return of students in the fall. Associate Director of Campus Facilities Phil Shocklee addressed some of the concerns that some people might have.
Q. Why does Campus Facilities usually schedule a lot of construction projects for the summer?
A. Well, there are two reasons. One is the weather - it is typically better in the summer - and there are less people on campus. Mostly we try to minimize inconveniences. Some of the projects have actually been going on for a while and are finishing up.
Q. There seem to be a lot of projects. Are there more this summer than previous summers?
A. There are more active major projects than other summers, especially utility projects, and that's because in the summer it causes less disruption.
Q. Does private funding of projects affect when you have to start them?
A. Well, funding has to be in place before we start a project, and we work very closely with the person funding it. But generally it doesn't affect when the project gets started.
Q. What measures are being taken to ensure that people can still get around campus?
A. We work closely with various departments on campus, and I personally send out e-mails about road closings and make sure there are alternative routes. We recognize that it does cause inconveniences, but there often aren't very many options to complete the projects that need to be completed. Our goal is to have streets reopened before school starts. We also have updated information on our Web site.
Q. Do you think that construction has a negative effect on potential students who are visiting the campus in the summer time?
A. I would hope that it would be viewed in a positive light. It's progress, and we hope that it would be viewed that way.