Baruch Plaza renovations should have been postponed to summer semester

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Tdorante10 | Wikimedia

Razia Islam

Baruch College sent out an email detailing a number of campus-wide renovations on March 11.

A major part of these renovations included the terrazzo floor replacement in the William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus. The email stated Baruch would start with replacing the first floor and lower level.

Baruch should have taken into consideration the entrance issues a floor renovation may cause and how disruptive it would be for its students and faculty.

Students who tried to enter through the plaza entrance on 25th Street were rerouted to the entrance on 24th Street.

There are nearly 20,000 students currently enrolled in Baruch, so eliminating one of two available entrances to the building significantly worsened the already existent foot traffic and congestion issues.

Recently, ID scanners have not been working across most buildings at Baruch.

Both students and faculty had to wait in long lines before being manually checked into the NVC by security guards. Students could have entered the building quickly, had the 25th Street entrance also been open.

In addition to being inconvenient, the NVC floor replacement raises accessibility concerns.

Without the automated door at the 25th Street entrance, students who require this accommodation now only have one point of entrance, the 24th street automated door.

There is less security at the plaza entrance due to its limited operation and the temporary removal of turnstiles. This poses a safety concern as unauthorized visitors may be able to bypass security and access the building.

Instead of removing security, Baruch should have added more security to this area to prevent unauthorized visitors from entering.

The renovations also began a few weeks before final examinations. Students attempting to arrive at their final exams on time may have become frustrated when rerouted to a different entrance while operating on a tight schedule.

The floor replacement was proposed in September 2021, according to the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

Given the large student body, it would have been more sensible to apply for a construction permit or send in the proposal later in the year to push this renovation to the summer semester, rather than the spring semester.

If this was not in the administration’s control, the city should have been more conscious of Baruch’s status as an educational institution with heavy foot traffic and granted a permit at a more appropriate time.

The campus is less populated during the summer semester, so fewer students and faculty would be impacted by the closed entrance.

Baruch should have proposed temporary solutions and taken the necessary measures to make up for the decreased ease of access to the NVC.

For future renovations, Baruch should consider how nonfunctional facilities, though temporary, will impact its students and staff.