Age and icy weather are wearing facilities at Raritan Valley Community College, creating problems commuters hit daily.
“Even though I know it’s there, If I don’t pay attention, I’m usually going to hit it,” said Jonathan Kian, who drove by a well-known pothole in front of the West Building most of this semester. “It’s right in the middle of the road and sometimes it’s unavoidable. You just have to hope nothing happens to your car.”
Damaged roads—a problem RVCC puts $30-50,000 aside every year for—were fixed when the college began filling potholes on April 14. But this is only one of several facilities problems on campus; other highly used areas are still in need of repair.
Pavers on the second floor walkway are loose, chipped and due for replacement. “The problem is not the integrity of the concrete, but the drainage system put in place to lead water away from the structure,” said John Trojan, Vice President for Finance & Facilities.
The 40-year-old drainage system is prone to water build up, which freezes, expands and causes concrete to loosen. This will cost close to $1,000,000 to replace, and the college hopes to finish it in 3-4 years.
The center roof of the Childcare Building will also be replaced. The roof is a cupola and is prone to water leaks, which gets worse every year. This will be complete between the first and second week of June. The cost is estimated at $45,000.
Elevators were down for maintenance so frequently this year that some students have gotten stuck inside. Liz Sohn was with six people last semester when this happened.
“The door closed and I was waiting for it to move, but it didn’t. We were in there for five minutes. We were completely confused,” Sohn said. This has also been a problem for people with disabilities that require the elevator. Fixing this will cost $40,000 per elevator.
The outdoor track—which is over 20-years-old—is undergoing phase one renovations. This will consist of laying pavement and painting it green. It will cost $110,000 and will be finished by the end of April.
The college hopes to complete phase two—laying rubber on the pavement—in two years. The track can still be run on without rubber but it does not absorb shock as well. Before the renovations, the track had patches, cracks and unevenness, making it difficult to use.
Trojan said the college is working hard to fix these problems. And as bad as this winter was on roads, he recalls last winter as even tougher. “In the spring semester of 2014 we had to fix numerous spots on roadways leading to and from the school. This year was mostly fixing patches in parking lots and few spots on the roadway but nothing as serious as last year.”
Featured image caption:
The outdoor track is currently under phase one renovation. Photo by Hector Yanes.
This article was edited on April 19.