Anyone on campus has probably noticed the numerous construction projects occurring on and around campus. We are expecting a new residence hall, a new bookstore location, a new hospital in University Park Plaza and many more new or improved buildings. Naturally, many students find the seeming lack of progress frustrating as projects are prolonged.
While I acknowledge that the expected date does not always line up with the actual completion date, I do not find it all that worrisome. Construction is one of the most complex manual labor jobs out there. It is a field that requires its workers to be in good health and the weather to be on their side. There are many things, such as pouring concrete, that cannot be done when it is raining or when the ground is wet. Living in South Florida, these two conditions alone do a lot to reduce the number of hours workers can put in. Heat is also a dangerous condition to work in throughout the work day and may require workers to take more frequent breaks or not show up at all, if too extreme.
You also cannot do strenuous physical activities required on a work site when sick or bedridden with other physical ailments. Many construction workers are burdened with various body pains that go hand-in-hand with the work they do within their field. Unlike many of us, who work in places such as offices, restaurants or stores, there are extreme limits to what conditions and ailments construction workers can come to work with. Additionally, accidents can occur on a work site, reducing the number of workers available during the timeframe.
In addition to these physical and environmental limitations, just like any field, there are many things that can go wrong or go in an unexpected direction. Permits, materials and owners’ input are all things that take time to get and limit the amount of work that can be done.
So, yes, construction projects are taking longer than expected. However, is it really that surprising? Would you rather it be done on time or done correctly?