Residents near Truman College won’t have to put up with much construction traffic as a $55-million project gets started, but students will.
A pedestrian breezeway between the two campus buildings will soon turn into the main construction entrance, with heavy machinery and trucks rumbling just a feet away from classrooms and the school’s theater.
“That was a route that was deemed to be least disruptive, rather than to have trucks coming through the neighborhood, rumbling through,” said Clifton Daniel, the spokesman for Truman College.
For now the breezeway is quiet, though some students were unhappy to see chain-link fences on both sides of the corridor.
Several students said that they knew construction starting, but they didn’t expect to see the fences.
“I feel like I’m in a cage,” said John Kutrubis, 18, standing outside the of the main Truman building with some friends.
Currently the east building houses most classrooms and offices, as well as the cafeteria. The west building is home to the theater and the shop used by automotive students.
Clifton said most students are in either one building or the other and don’t have to cross between the two. But for those who do, it will require a longer walk, he said.
“They told us about the parking (lots being closed),” said nursing student Hezel Enriquez, “… but they didn’t say anything about the fences.”
Clifton said the college is trying to make the construction “as undisruptive as possible.”
If students can weather the noise and inconvenience, they’ll have plenty to look forward to, officials say.
A new student center will give clubs and administrative offices more space, allowing for new classrooms in the main building. A new parking garage will make it easier for students who drive to class each day.
The project is slated to be completed in 2010.
Peter Sachs is a Chicago-based journalist. He covers higher education for the Daily News.