Students, Faculty Adjust to Path Closure

For students who have had class in Leo and RLC, the path past the Waldo parking lot has been the lifeline that connects North and South campus, but as of recent, that path is closed for construction.

Students are taking extra time to get to class with the closure of the Leo pathway. Photo by James O'Connor.
Students are taking extra time to get to class with the closure of the Leo pathway. Photo by James O’Connor.

The path closure, with the combination of snow and a new semester, is something that students will have to adjust to over time.

According to an email sent to the MC community by the office of public safety, the path closure started Feb. 3 and should continue for three months.

The recommended path put forward by public safety takes students through the Broadway parking lot, down to Broadway and south straight to Leo and RLC.

“Three months is almost the duration of the semester,” said Dr. Thom Gencarelli, whose office is in Leo.

The path remains open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and is open strictly to pedestrian traffic.

In response to the concerns raised by the path closure, the office of marketing and communications in conjuncture with physical plant released a video on the closure that detailed that the new path only takes an additional 90 seconds as compared to the old path.

In timing the path, members of physical plant started the new route from the steps of Smith Auditorium to Leo.

Many students are wondering if the new path allows all students equal time to get to class, since Horan Hall and East Hill are significantly farther than the Smith Auditorium steps.

“We know it’s inconvenient but in the long run I think it is going to be worth while,” said Julie Achilles, content Manager of marketing and communications.

“I can’t say I understand the exact reason they had to do it,” said Rachelle Borowicki, a senior management student. “But I feel, especially with people who have late night class in Leo or engineers working on projects in programs in the RLC computers who then have to walk to campus after dark it seems much more dangerous.”

“There is a general grousing going on among students,” Gencarelli said. “That this could have been planned and timed better.”

The path closure was scheduled by the construction company, who originally scheduled the closing for winter break.

Once construction is completed, the new path will feature updated lighting and two blue light systems among other improvements.

The other problem that faces students is the possibility of being late to class.

“There is always a group who comes late,” said Gencarelli. “I don’t notice any change that there are more or later.”

Because of the anticipated delays, students are getting ready to leave their classes earlier. 

“I do notice that students are packing up earlier,” said Gencarelli.

One other issue that faces the MC community about the new path is that the new path takes students and faculty off of MC property for much longer than some may be accustomed to.

“We have patrols,” said Juan Cerezo, Director of Public Safety. “And a public safety officer walking from 242 street to the entrance to the Broadway lot.”

Cerezo stressed that every precaution is being taken to ensure the safety of everyone, highlighting the blue light system at the entrance to the parking garage and the 32 active cameras that are placed in strategic locations.