Short Answer: Continued Construction

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 5/9/10 10:00pm

Friday's Verbum Ultimum addressed the cost of current construction efforts. Should projects like the Life Sciences Center still be pursued at this time, or are there more pressing concerns?

We cannot allow the budget crisis to restrict our outlook to the short term. In the long run, taking advantage of low construction costs to complete a building that will add great value to our institution and help us to remain competitive among our peers makes sound financial sense. For those upset that Dartmouth is laying off staff while continuing to finance this project, what happens to the contractors, architects and construction workers if work on the building is halted?Emily Johnson '12

The show must go on. Earmarked donations should be converted into facilities as quickly and efficiently as possible. The alternative is to let the money sit idle at a time when intelligent spending could substantially improve the College's public image by demonstrating both fiscal responsibility and support for the community.Charles Clark '11

Most of the current construction projects are already funded and in progress, so stopping construction now would be more costly than finishing. Still, in the midst of these budget struggles Dartmouth must prioritize its initiatives. Financial aid and other concerns are more crucial to Dartmouth's mission and success than a new dining hall or renovating Mass Row.Brendan Woods '13

I completely agree with the Verbum. Now is an opportune time to continue construction since costs are cheap and demand is low. To continue to compete with other elite schools, Dartmouth must be willing to invest in its future even if that means some growing pains today.Josh Kornberg '13

The most pressing concern right now is that the College continues to grow and stay competitive despite our budget problems. The administration has long sought, and for good reason, to not let budget cuts affect our academic competitiveness. Anyone who has walked down the ancient, crumbling halls of Gilman knows that the new Life Sciences Center, although expensive, is neccessary so that our academic programs do not fall behind those of our peer institutions.Ethan Wang '13

For a while, at least, the economy will not be perfect. It cost money and time to raise the funds for and plan these projects, so we shouldn't waste those resources. If we wait for complete economic stability, nothing will ever be accomplished, so let's break ground.Spenser Mestel '11

In the case of the Life Sciences Center, it makes sense to continue on with construction as halting work would only result in more losses for the College. That being said, further new construction should be avoided until issues such as layoffs and program cutbacks can be addressed.Jacob Batchelor '12

Given that specific funds have been set aside for these improvement projects, there is nothing to do but move forward with them. Besides, these projects are making some needed improvements like more space for the arts, better functioning dining facilities and better learning spaces.Emily Baxter '11

Providing and maintaining functional, efficient and cutting-edge facilities for the student body must remain one of the Administration's top priorities during times of financial recession. Prospective students, in the end, are awed by the number of books in the library, the size and quality of the dining halls and the technology of the science facilities. If Dartmouth wants to continue to attract the best and the brightest, we must plunge headlong into these construction projects.Kevin Niparko '12

Dartmouth loves to toot its own horn when it comes to sustainability, but in reality, we have a long way to go. If construction is to proceed, it should set an example for environmental consciousness in a time of crisis. New construction projects like the Life Sciences Center should make the Big Green live up to its name and demonstrate how cost-consciousness and environmental sustainability can and must go hand-in-hand.Jordan Osserman '11

To maintain its status as one of the best colleges in the country, Dartmouth should continue with projects like the Life Sciences Center. Focused on improved efficiency and new revenue sources, College President Jim Yong Kim has done a good job thus far of making necessary budget cuts in a way that least affects the students. Halting construction projects would indeed save the College money in the short-term; however, in the long-term it would have a huge adverse effect on student and faculty opportunities. Even in times of crisis, the College should continue to grow and improve rather than opting for the status quo. That's what has made the education at Dartmouth so valuable for the past 240 years.Andrew Clay '12

Since the construction on the Life Sciences Center is already underway, it wouldn't make sense to stop building now. While I don't think renovating Thayer Dining Hall is the most important issue at this time, as long as the funds are earmarked and cannot be used for anything else, I see no reason why this project shouldn't be pursued as well.Natalie Colaneri '12

Those projects should continue to be pursued despite the tough economic conditions facing College employees. Lest we forget, if we were to abandon the projects, the contractors we hired and their construction employees would lose a large amount of business as well, leading to job losses in the community either way. It's a bad situation all around, but the improvements made to the College will provide benefits for generations to come.Raza Rasheed '12