By Staff Writer Maddie Kenn.
Most students are aware of the new housing units that are currently being built as a replacement for the freshman quad that is being used to this day.
The ongoing question that’s going around campus is, “What should be done with the old first year buildings after the new ones are completed?”
Current speculations are either a store of some sort or a parking lot. Although these are two great and possible outcomes to a new and improved UMass Dartmouth campus, they would both cost a lot of money and would be difficult to tear down, as it would be time consuming and would have to rotate around the upcoming weather conditions.
The Torch met with a few students to get their opinions on the matter. A majority of them were in favor of the same solution, but each one of the students that were willing to discuss this issue had their own unique responses.
Kristen LaRosa, a nursing major and first year student here at UMassD says that a parking lot would be beneficial, backing up her point by claiming that “there are barely any locations for freshmen to park that is within a reasonable distance to their dorms.” As a commuter, she mentions that there are limited available parking lots in general, whether speaking on behalf of students, faculty, or guests. Those driving or walking around campus may notice a line of cars parked along the roads circling around the buildings which could possibly be a result of little to no available parking spots at the specified time.
Ashton Evans, a sophomore biology major, agrees with LaRosa that the old buildings should be torn down and be created into a parking lot. Her reasoning is that “the reconstruction that is taking place for the new freshman housing is taking up available parking lots and because of this, commuters and residential students are forced into finding new parking spaces.” Evans also mentions that she personally knows several commuter students who have to arrive to school earlier than they normally would in order to locate a parking spot that is convenient to them.
Katelynn Peterson, a mechanical engineering and first year student also agrees that the old first year buildings should be torn down, considering that they are in rough shape, but she has a different opinion on the matter than the two previous responses. Peterson mentioned that she had heard that the Dells may be rebuilt in the empty spot, but doesn’t know for sure. “We already have so much parking, turning the empty space into a parking lot may be a waste,” she says.
Nicholas Stanton, also a first year student, has a different take on the situation, proposing the suggestion to keep the buildings for extra rooming in case it’s needed, to save money, time, and not waste the space.
Most of the other students had similar views, agreeing to tear down the old buildings and use the vacant spot for a parking lot, such as first year student Axel Jeremie and a few students who wish to remain anonymous.
One undeclared first year student says that the spot should remain empty after the buildings are torn down. With the construction workers and the students input, the community will construct a plan for the old buildings, whether they are remaining in the spot, being demolished, or replaced. We are excited to see the new first year housing and greet incoming students with brand new dorms to live in!