I have a theory that President R. Gerald Turner is a magician.
Want to expand your campus but there’s neighborhood in the way? Poof! The neighborhood is gone and you are free to expand as you like. Want a new stadium? Hey presto! You have yourself a new tennis stadium and a supercomputer to go along with it.
Turner’s tenure as SMU’s president has been nearly magical with all of his achievements.
But perhaps the magic is wearing off? If you’re like me, you were excited to come back to campus to see a whole plethora of completed construction projects. The health center was supposed to be well on its way to completion, there was supposed to be a new pedestrian promenade (now scheduled for April 2016), and the Simmons school was supposed to have a new building up.
If you have not noticed (but how could you not?), much of that has not been completed. The Health Center is still a hole in the ground, the promenade is still a cracked-up road, and the business school parking lot is in shambles.
The real inconvenience will be for those who have cars on campus. Commuters have complained about not having enough parking before, but with all of the ongoing construction it’s only going to be more difficult!
In addition to the parking that was already lost to the Health Center, a lot near the Cox School of Business is torn up and the offices for the Crain Family Centennial Promenade are taking up what used to be a commuter lot by the Sigma Chi fraternity house. I fully expect the cries of commuting students without enough parking to be heard again.
While I have full confidence in R. Gerald Turner’s competency as president, and I know that many issues came up during construction that slow things down, it is just a little saddening to come back and find our normally-pristine, nationally-acclaimed campus in a state of seemingly disarray.
Regardless, I am sure that President Turner can magically flip this one around as well.