By Mitch Holt, Opinion Editor
The City of Abilene is grinding up Campus Court’s old surface and replacing it from East North 16th Street to Ambler Avenue; these renovations will include new curbs, gutters, street lights, asphalt and more, costing just less than half a million dollars, and estimated to be completed by the end of September.
Jimmy Ellison, chief of the ACU Police, said that safety of students is the No.1 priority in this project.
The addition of the new Barret Hall, sophomore women’s housing, has increased the number of students crossing the street on a daily basis. Many are concerned about the safety of the street.
“Student safety is always top priority,” Ellison said. “It’s important to note that there were five separate crosswalks on Campus Court before it was torn up. Regardless of how many walks are provided, people need to use them for them to be effective.”
Crosswalks will not be finished until the new pavement is laid down, but students must show extra care when they are walking to and from campus, Ellison said.
Bontke Construction Company is the contracting company in charge of these renovations, and it is taking the safety of each student very seriously, Ellison said.
The university, Bontke CC and the city are teaming up to make the street as safe as possible during the congestion on Campus Court, he said.
“We have to keep in mind that construction is a process that has to be worked through,” Ellison said. “Street work and dorm construction are messy and annoying, but it’s all part of getting new streets, new residence halls and, eventually, a more beautiful campus.”
Ellison said that even though lanes and crosswalks aren’t marked, there have not been any accidents since the start of construction on Campus Court.
Kevin Watson, associate vice president of Administrative Services, said in an e-mail that to ensure safety, both drivers and walkers need to be careful.
“Think about what you are doing and don’t be talking on your cell phone,” he said. “Drivers need to be looking for people crossing the streets and be especially careful around the residence halls.”