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The Antelope

The Antelope

Are construction officials spreading themselves too thin?

Construction teams finish renovations at Martin Hall. Photo by Grace McDonald / Antelope Staff

When ceremonial scissors clamped down on the Martin Hall ribbon, it did not cut right away. The audience chuckled as the students got accustomed to the size of the comically large scissors. It took a couple more tries (snip, snip, snip) until the yellow ribbon fell away and applause followed.

The scissors caused a slight delay that students were not expecting. 

The same could be said for many construction projects that have haunted campus for the past six years. 

To help construction transitions flow better, we urge UNK officials to more accurately predict and communicate timelines. 

According to an Antelope article published in 2020, the new Greek Housing project’s completion date was set for last fall. The project wasn’t “completed” until over a year past the deadline. 

We cut the Martin Hall ribbon while renovations are still ongoing. One of these renovations includes working out the kinks with the elevator.

As project managers neared crunch time, the construction teams were chipping away at Martin Hall’s roof after dark. 

It seems like UNK spread itself too thin and had to scramble to meet the deadline. 

It was jarring for some parties to move out of their buildings. Offices and departments eventually received news of these plans mid-semester. It would have been more convenient for directors to know this information in the summer of 2022.

As a result, university employees and students were loading items into minivans and trucks throughout the January intersession. More of a heads-up would have been helpful.

Martin Hall isn’t the first time UNK projects have crawled past the finish line.We waited on contractors and weather conditions to cooperate for Cope Fountain’s completion.

Then COVID-19 hit, supply chain issues arose and building material prices skyrocketed. The Otto Olsen demolition site and the Conrad Hall brown space were long-term eyesores in the middle of campus. 

Reasonable delays occurred during the development of the 26th Street Mall and the wrestling room. This was partially due to the death of the Blessing Construction owner, after a tragic bulldozer accident.

We hope sorority housing will be finished this fall, but it’s hard to be hopeful with UNK’s pushing past deadlines.

Some things are out of the university’s control, but we want more realistic expectations of construction timelines.

On the other end, students had better get used to things not being done when officials say they will be.

Patience from Lopers and accurate deadlines from officials will make future ribbon cuttings even more satisfying.

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