Construction creates congestion on campus

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BYU students are walking through construction on campus. Many students’ routes to campus have been changed because of the constructon. (Audrey Hill)

As BYU continues construction on the new Arts Building, students are struggling to navigate campus amidst closures, barriers and roadblocks.

BYU announced the new Arts Building to replace the Harris Fine Arts Center in 2022. The HFAC was demolished this year, and construction for the new Arts Building commenced soon after.

For many BYU students, the construction on campus makes getting to class a challenge.

“They’re doing construction while we’re all walking to class,” Isaac Smith, BYU Public Relations student, said. “Dust just kicks up like crazy. I cough all the time.”

One of the construction projects that is underway on BYU campus is updates to the Harold B. Lee Library, which dates back to 1960. The updates include roof replacement, elevator replacement and repair and pipe and restroom replacement, according to the HBLL.

“It’s really annoying,” Connor Smith, BYU accounting student, said. “It looks like a sore spot just like right in the middle of campus.”

As of 2022, there were 31,389 undergraduate BYU students, according to BYU’s facts and figures. With this large amount of students trying to navigate their way through campus to classes and other activities, the construction is making it difficult for many students to travel on campus.

Students are navigating the construction on campus. The construction adds a difficulty for students getting around campus. (Audrey Hill)

Megkalah Bills, a freshman studying graphic design, said the commute to West Campus makes it especially difficult for students who live off campus to get to class on time.

“It’s about a 20 minute walk for me,” Bills said.

A BYU student walks past the HFAC under demolition. The new Arts Building is scheduled to be completed in 2025. (Audrey Hill)

Bills also expressed the difficulties students who utilize BYU’s free shuttle service, Ryde, face when commuting to West Campus.

“The shuttle leaves at 10:35 a.m., but their class is at eleven,” Bills said. “They’re not able to get there in time.”

The construction has also brought changes to the landscape of BYU. 

“I’m sad that the trees are gone, and I do miss the HFAC,” Katie Bell, a senior studying family life, said. 

Bell continued to express interest in the new changes brought by the construction — such as the new Library Cafe, calling it “fantastic.”

“I just had a pizza bagel. It was the yummiest thing I’ve ever had,” Bell said.

BYU recently added the Library Cafe to the third floor of the Harold B. Lee Library. The Library Cafe serves a variety of food including boba, bagels and tacos. (Audrey Hill)

BYU anticipates the new Arts Building will be completed toward the end of 2025. With this deadline in mind, BYU students may have to continue to plan their walk to class with delays in mind. 

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