By the start of fall semester, 56 current construction projects will be complete — just 15 percent of the 358 projects currently underway on and off campus, Associate Vice President of Capital Construction John Harmer said.
Capital Construction Development manages all construction and renovating projects at USC.
Among these projects are the construction of the new Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism on Childs Way next to the USC bookstore, new auditorium chairs for the Norris Cinema Theater and a maintenance upgrade on Grace Ford Salvatori Hall.
Until then, however, the construction has made it difficult for students and faculty to navigate campus and distracted students during academic sessions.
Qahir Popat, a rising senior majoring in economics, finds that construction noises make it difficult for him to participate in class.
“It’s really annoying at 9 a.m. when they are doing hardcore drilling outside the classroom and I can’t hear or concentrate,” Popat said.
Sarell Diamond, a rising junior majoring in communication, echoed that sentiment.
“It’s pretty distracting when the professors are constantly interrupted by loud drilling and truck traffic outside the lecture hall,” Diamond said.
The construction projects have also blocked many campus streets and sidewalks, forcing those who need access to certain buildings to find alternative routes.
“I have to take a long route to class because the main parts of campus are blocked off,” Diamond said. “Also, riding my bike is a little dangerous, as there are construction workers and trucks scattered all around campus.”
Harmer said USC construction projects are planned with these issues in mind.
“Long before any construction commences, we plan for the best possible approaches to minimize the impact to students, faculty, staff and visitors,” Harmer said. “In planning for construction, attention is given to the location of fences, barricades, pedestrian and vehicular routes and methods developed to reduce noise and disruption, including performing construction activities in off hours or weekends. Any concern is treated seriously and dealt with as a matter of urgency.”
Rising senior Matt Arkfeld, an East Asian area studies major, thinks that the short-term annoyances are part of life on a constantly evolving campus.
“All the construction projects are worth it to help better the school because they are long-term improvements,” Arkfeld said.