Construction hammers away students’ memories

Years from now, when I think back about my college campus, my first thoughts will not be beautiful, spread-out green lawns or the sounds of students conversing and laughing. My thoughts will be the loud buzzing of jackhammers, the beeping dump trucks, construction workers yelling at traffic and heaps of fresh soil piled on the lawn where I would leave our touch football games early to head across the street to the bars luring me in with their bright, neon lights.

I wish I could say I remember the old bookstore well, but recently, I’m starting to forget what the inside looked like because a huge, 34,000-square-foot commercialized building is in its place.

TCU’s reason for the construction is based on the $100 million Campus Commons project that will create a campus that’s keeping up with other academic institutions, according to the TCU Web site.

No one ever signs up for a school thinking construction will rule the day-to-day imagery of his or her campus. Students don’t expect half the campus they walked on for four years to change so drastically.

It almost seems like a tease – waiting around for months and years, watching iron and metal placed together to make an aesthetically-pleasing student building with plasma televisions, or walking past the beautifully renovated dorms I never knew. I don’t know several things now built on our TCU campus, and the construction seems as though it will never cease.

Even though there is a link on the Web site for updates on construction, there is no concrete end date. There are dates for when the new student center will open, but when this ends, there could easily be another project to work on.

When I bring my children to see my college in years to come, I will not know it. They will ask me about the Frog Fountain and I’ll reply, I don’t know the fountain, it didn’t look this way.” If my child asks about the large enticing student building with a an arch on top reminiscent of a castle, I’ll tell them I did not know this either.

It seems now that everything will be torn down or renovated. Everything old is new, and vacant of any memories. The only true and most daunting thing I can say I know, and will always remember, are the bells.

After I graduate this year, and when I come back many years later, I may not be able to say I made my presence known in any of the modern, high-tech buildings being scrapped together, but I’ll hear the bells chime up and down University Drive and tell my children, “I know that.”

Elizabeth Sehon is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Waco.