CSULB’s oldest structures begin to show their age
SPECIAL REPORT: Older buildings on campus are due for an upgrade as problems arise.
The presence of leaky ceilings, dysfunctional air conditioning and falling ceiling tiles have become the new norm for several buildings at Cal State Long Beach.
Buildings that house liberal arts departments, such as Fine Arts 3 and 4 and Social Science and Public Affairs, host myriad infrastructural issues for students and faculty to contend with.
“We’ve been trying to rally together to get some more information about this,” said Nalani Garcia, a member of Students for Quality Education. “Unfortunately, the only way we’ve been able to get some attention from Physical Planning and Facilities Management directly was on Twitter.”
Though Physical Planning and Facilities Management is in charge of building upkeep, Garcia feels that some requests are overlooked.
“They’re just very slow to do things,” said Garcia. “And when something happens and a student reports it, they don’t take the time to check and actually evaluate what’s going on.”
According to Mary Stephens, vice president of administration and finance, due to lack of funding by the state, the university must prioritize where it allocates funds. This is what slows down the process of fixing the issues across campus.
Fine arts major Christian Ronaga said that when he was taking general education courses, he was struck by the nicer conditions of the classrooms he was in. These classrooms were supplied with smart boards and smart tables – an image perhaps closer to what he envisioned as an incoming freshman for his own surroundings as an art major in a well-known art program.
“I noticed they recently installed a new elevator, so I’m assuming they’re repairing the building,” Ronaga said. “But when I was coming in my first year, I thought, ‘s**t, what did I get myself into?’ It just looked bad. I thought it would have been nicer.”
Tony Malagrino, director of facilities management on campus, said the department does not decide what gets prioritized first based on their own perceptions, but that they try to understand what to do based on input from customers.
“[Facilities] works with the executive committees on campus, the presidents and vice presidents to try to make sure we understand which are the most important issues to advance,” he said. “Whether it’s a new dorm or a new academic station.”