By Adam Greenberg
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD — The new science building at Camden County College has been under construction for the past year. When completed, the new building will benefit the campus but the ongoing construction has become a distraction for students and teachers.
With construction of the science building nearly complete and awaiting a ribbon-cutting ceremony, students and faculty expressed their concerns about the construction. Colleen Clark, the dean of math and science, has been employed at Camden County College for 25 years at the Taft building. As to whether she was bothered by the loud construction, she said, “I’m not really affected by it. I’m happy how the building has progressed. I will be moving into that building.”
A full-time math teacher, Penny Luczak in her 30s, who teaches in the Taft building every Tuesday and Thursday, has been distracted by the construction. She notices her students get distracted when the construction is noisy. Luczak said, “It really gets disturbing because this is a calculus class and it involves a lot of concentration and focus.”
Samantha Pecoraio, a Camden County College student in her 20s, had a class in the Taft building last year. Pecoraio said, “The teacher would pause the lesson due to the loud noises.” She added, “The teacher dismissed class early because we couldn’t get any work done.”
Aniell Ortiz, 29, has been attending the college for two years. He had a math class in the Taft building. Ortiz said, “There was a lot of constant drilling and it was hard to concentrate. Like anything else that is annoying, I tried to block it out of my mind.”
According to the website of Vitetta, the construction company hired to program, design and construct the science building, the building will house 17 new chemistry and biology laboratories including a surgical suite, nursing arts, health careers and dental clinic along with general and specialized classrooms. According to Vitetta, the anticipated construction cost is $33 million. The science classrooms in the Taft building will be converted into executive and administrative offices for the campus.
Mike Basner, a Camden County College student in his 20s, said, “The construction of an entire building for science classes is unnecessary. Truman and Taft are both dedicated to science classes.”