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Funding for pathway repairs could take a year

Broken bricks in front of the Student Union | Photo by Daniel Delgado | The Wright State Guardian

Broken bricks in front of the Student Union | Photo by Daniel Delgado | The Wright State Guardian

Concerns about the damage to the number of sidewalks and pathways on Wright State’s campus has increased over the years. The question remains, when will these be fixed.

“There’s $800,000 coming next year for pavement and we’re going to try to use some of that to do sidewalks as well,” Javan Conley, associate vice president of Facility Operations.

According to Conley, repairs for the pavers in question are being planned.

“All [the items] we have [on] a deferred maintenance list are things from roofs that need replaced to carpet or furniture that’s wearing out. We rank those items on that list that are safety related or compliance related,” said Conley.

How are students affected

Areas around campus, such as the Student Union, raise a safety concern for students that walk, skate, bike and more.

Liberal Arts student Mariana Gonzalez sometimes skates around campus but avoids certain areas, because she has been thrown off of her skateboard in the past.

“When I’m around the Student Union, I don’t skate because of the bricks,” said Gonzalez. “The bricks on campus should be replaced with smooth concrete. This is a campus that is accessible, but it’s not exactly comfortable.”

As for students that use wheelchairs, canes or are visually impaired, a repair in sidewalks and pathways could make traveling across campus safer, convenient and less hazardous.

Members of the group Abilities, founded by Wright State student Rebekah Wyse, voiced their concern toward some pathways, stating instances of tripping and falling.

For Brooke Solomito, a junior in mathematics and member of Abilities, the parking lot in front of University Hall is an area that causes issues.

“They just redid [the parking lot], however, there are still some major potholes toward the front of University Hall,” Solomito said.

Aside from broken pathways, there is also a concern of slipping, as well as accessibility, in front of the Honors dorm.

“When it snows it gets very icy due to the sidewalks not being plowed and cleared,” said Abilities member Lyssa Zepfel.

For students that have difficulties getting around campus due to these issues, it is important to raise awareness.

“There have been concerns in the past with an area that was tripping people and causing wheelchairs to get stuck, but we have not heard [about any issues] this semester,” said Tom Webb, director of Disability Services.

Funding and temporary fixes

State money was used to pave some areas including Center Road and Lot 6.

“[The] student lot is another one that’s high on the list because it’s one of the oldest pavements on campus. We’ll make an evaluation in the spring on where we want to really spend those dollars,” said Conley.

To ensure safety, temporary measures have been taken to quickly fix small areas that are in need of major repair.

“You can see in some areas where the concrete has been shaved. It’s a cheap way to kind of fix a trip hazard [and] just grind it down so it’s smooth with the adjacent surface,” said Conley.

With the pathway around the Student Union being almost 20 years old, maintenance has re-leveled and redone some of the brick pavers.

“[It’s a] temporary fix but it allows us to get our arms around the entire campus so that we can put it all in one comprehensive package and then build it out publicly in the summertime. That’s better efficient use of the university’s dollars,” said Conley.

Besides state money, there is also a component of the parking passes that go toward ground maintenance.

“We rely on the campus community to notify us if there are deficiencies and encourage everyone to contact customer care. You can dial their extension, 4444,” said Conley.