Christian Meyer & Aiden Liles

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — There are a number of construction projects underway on the Winthrop University campus, which are causing issues for some students, faculty and staff.

Winthrop has started working on its campus beautification initiative; a construction project focused on renewing and revitalizing the campus grounds.

The project is currently focused on replacing the tiles on the path in between the West Center and the DiGiorgio Campus Center.

“Anyone who kind of saw the tile last summer noticed that a lot of tile was popping up and it kind of would slide around and create some holes, was not visually attractive and was a trip hazard,” said James Grigg, associate vice president of facilities management, who was a guest on the Palmetto Report podcast.

“There was no good way to just repair the tiles in a one-by-one area basis. That had been tried and just didn’t provide a successful repair,” he said.

The project is expected to cost the university about $1.2 million.

Grigg said the university had hoped to begin the project after graduation in May, in order to limit the disruption to campus traffic, but there were a few delays getting started.

“We had a slight delay in the contracting process and then when we were removing all of the pavers, we found a bunch of buried utilities that were unknown and were partially hidden inside the concrete slab that we had to remove,” he said.

The delays have been frustrating for some people.

“It’s a bit inconvenient,” said senior Danja Buffet. “Since I’m used to being able to just walk up the sidewalk, swinging into the Starbucks and into the closest door right there; and I tried it this morning and nope, it was locked.”

Miguel Caldwell, president of the Council of Student Leaders, said he has been working to help students struggling with the changes.

“There have been lots of issues, so what we’ve kind of been doing is trying to help identify alternative routes and things like that. (It’s) just temporary, for now, until the work is done,” he said.

“We’ve definitely had lots of students come with concerns about it, though. But now that the tiles are being placed, things are progressing pretty quickly and so I think that those concerns will start to lessen as time progresses,” Caldwell said.

Despite the construction delays, there is hope the new path will benefit the campus community. However, a timeline hasn’t been provided for when the project will be complete.