Library frustrations will seem minor in the long run

Staff Editorial

Students returning to campus this semester have faced a rude awakening. Many of  the routines students have developed during their time at St. Edward’s University have been disrupted.

Students cannot park where they used to. They cannot use the same sidewalks. These things may seem trivial, but adjusting to a changing campus can be difficult.

Students got a taste of construction-related woes when construction began on the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center last semester, but more perceived problems will certainly arise as more construction projects begin this semester.

Construction on the Scarborough-Phillips Library began on Monday, forcing the parking lot in front of the library to close. This only adds to the construction commotion that seems to be frustrating the St. Edward’s community. For example, normal routes are disrupted or completely blocked off, parking is troublesome and we are lacking a full library. However, once the new Scarborough-Phillips Library and the other construction projects are complete, these campus conundrums will seem worthwhile.

Although the old library served as a central environment for learning and studying alone or with peers, it is ready for an upgrade. Anyone who tried to study in the old library during midterms or finals knows it could no longer accommodate the student population. Finding a quiet space, or any space, in the library became increasingly challenging as the student population continued to grow. As the student population grows, campus must grow with it.

While the construction of the new library serves as an inconvenience this year, it should only prove helpful to us in the future. The lack of a proper library is undeniably difficult for students to deal with, but an updated library will provide more study spaces, more resources and a more dynamic campus. The library closure is by no means permanent, and when the new library opens, the St. Edward’s community will be better off.

University officials certainly have the interests of the community in mind. The new library may not benefit students who will graduate before the library opens in 2013, but freshmen, sophomores and future generations of St. Edward’s students will reap the benefits of an updated library for years to come.

Compared to previous semesters, parking has already become a struggle this semester, and available parking lots continue to disappear. Construction on the addition to the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center has completely overtaken a once convenient parking lot and street route, and the aforementioned closure of the library parking lot only exacerbates the inconvenience.

On our small campus, every parking space counts, but the parking lot closures will not last forever, nor are the closures the tragedy some commuters make them out to be. The parking garage and adjacent visitor parking lot may make students’ walk to class a little longer, but they still provide parking to hundreds of students every day.

That being said, the current construction-related woes will be worth it in the long run. St. Edward’s is a small community, so any kind of change is going to be a noticeable one. However, once construction is over, St. Edward’s will have a new science building and a new library. Those improvements are worth the fleeting inconvenience.