After a five-month delay, the ULV administration finally approved for the renovation of the Sports Science and Athletic Pavilion, formerly known as the Supertents, to break ground. The target completion date for the pavilion came and went on Oct. 15, leaving the chain link fence up and dirt mounds tall on the construction site.
Brian Worley, director of ULV facilities management, said the reason for the delay was “issues that arose during the course of construction.”
When construction began, the final plans were not complete, but the Board of Trustees seized the momentum and moved forward. However, not all the issues that could arise during the first phase were completely addressed before the construction’s beginning.
Not only has this construction become an eye sore on campus, but it has stranded many athletic teams and forced student affairs to relocate events.
ULV’s championship volleyball team has been left out of its home court for nearly the entire season. The team has found refuge at the Rains Center at Pomona College and Club West for the majority of the season.
Unfortunately, the Leopards will most likely finish their season away from home. Inconveniences caused by the delay have bled over into the winter season of athletics as teams are scrambling to relocate games. The basketball teams now, to their surprise, need to deal with relocating as well. The volleyball team did not expect to reschedule so many games to accommodate the construction.
Currently, facilities management is working on getting the gym floor in condition for practices, not game-ready.
Student Affairs is also feeling displaced and having to alter arrangements for a variety of events. If the delay continues, the January commencement ceremonies may need a new location. And with the way things are going, Student Affairs is not taking chances. The organization is currently working on finding a new location for the Jan. 22 commencement.
“It doesn’t fit right to have the event off-campus,” said Ruby Montaño-Cordova, associate dean of student affairs and commencement director.
“We would of course like to hold ULV’s commencement on campus.”
However, finding a location for a commencement ceremony in less than four months time is a challenge.
Worley projected the pavilion will be completed by the end of December or beginning of January and hopes construction will be near completion.
His biggest concern for January commencement is that one section of the building will still have scaffolding.
When stepping back and looking at the bigger picture for the renovation project, the future Campus Center has a long way to go. This first delay is only a part of phase one, which included its conversion to the Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion and the reshaping of the plaza. With such a massive delay on this initial phase, ULV may need to deal with the unsightly construction for much longer. The project still includes two more phases. The second phase includes the razing of the physical education building to make room for the Sara and Michael Abraham Campus Center building. The third and final stage should encompass construction of the Sara and Michael Abraham Campus Center and complete the Plaza.
Despite the apparent long road, Worley suspects the entire project has about two years until completion since the ground breaking last spring.
No doubt the new Campus Center will greatly increase ULV’s appeal and life on campus, but these delays are doing just the opposite. This year’s athletic programs cannot be expected to relocate all their projected home games. And the University cannot be expected to continue a healthy campus life with the obstruction of delayed construction.
Hopefully these problems will clear up and University life can return to an improved normalcy.