A promise postponed: Recreation and Wellness Center delays set a precedent of broken promises for first-year students

Nicholas Pestritto, Contributing Writer

A promise is something that anyone should care about and should try their absolute best to keep intact. I did not expect a big promise from the college of my choice to fall through before I even came on campus. Yes, I am talking about the new Recreation and Wellness Center that is still being built. From a first-year student’s perspective, it seems like a total mess. 

In my First-Year Seminar class last week, my professor asked the class to think of an issue on the Quinnipiac University campus or one from back home that we could discuss and ask questions about. I immediately thought about the new Recreation and Wellness Center. I talked about how the building is causing issues, like loud noises, dirt and dust being blown into the air and mainly that we were told it was supposed to have been done in August. I quickly found out that everyone in my class felt the same way. 

It was a broken promise from Quinnipiac and we all knew that. 

From a first-year student’s perspective, it seems like a total mess.

— Nicholas Pestritto, contributing writer

When I decided to come to Quinnipiac, one of the big selling points was the new Recreation and Wellness Center. When I came to events on campus and went on tours, everyone said that the new building on campus was going to be great and that it would be open when we arrived. However, I live close to campus and when I visited over the summer, I noticed that there was still a lot of work being done on the new building. At first it confused me, but after hearing from several people on campus that it would be delayed, I was able to grasp what was going on.

Coming to campus and seeing that construction was still underway on the new building, it was very disappointing and I felt like I was lied to. I understand there could be construction worker staff shortages, COVID-19 and supply chain issues, but how could something this big be delayed several months? How could such a massive promise to the incoming class not be kept? Many other first-year students I have spoken to feel the same way. We believed and were told that it was supposed to be done by the time we came to campus in August. We are all upset about the wait and thought by now we would have been using all the amenities the building has to offer.

Along with the building construction still in progress, there are many other problems that are coming to my attention. It is not just first-year students that are hearing the loud noises of construction in the early morning and throughout the day. Everyone can hear what is going on, especially students who live in the Irma and Dana dorms, which are right near the construction site. Having to listen to the noises all the time can easily frustrate anyone. It can be very distracting if you are trying to study in your room. When walking around near the construction site I can constantly hear very loud and distracting noises. When trying to talk on the phone or talk with a friend walking next to you along the path leading to the side of the library, it can be a challenge to hear what they are saying. 

Seeing the ground dug up and different machines all over the construction site and surrounding areas is also not the easiest to look at. It’s understandable that there will be construction equipment onsite, but that equipment and other vehicles have also been placed in the nearby North Lot. This has also spread elsewhere on campus, considering the dirt trails from all different trucks and machinery behind the Carl Hansen Student Center, assumingly from the South Quad construction. Not only does this not look good, it takes up several parking spaces, when parking is already a severe issue. 

I do believe the inconvenience caused by construction will be worth it in the end, but only when we are able to use the new building. While it will be a great place on the Mount Carmel campus that everyone can enjoy, in reality, we should have already been able to use it. This is not me trying to get a sympathetic response for the first-year class, but I can attest to feeling lied to. Myself and many other students were looking forward to using the new facility in the first few weeks when they arrived on campus. It could have been a great place to meet new people during the first weeks of classes. It seems like the project’s managers promised to deliver a completed building with a schedule that really was not realistic. It makes me wonder if they always knew that they would not be able to guarantee it opening on time, but told us it would be ready anyway. 

Do I think that it was the fault of the tour guides or event hosts for telling us that it would be done by August? No, I do not. They were telling us what they had been told by the university administration. 

What I don’t understand is, how many problems did they run into during construction, or was it just poor planning? 

Vice President for Facilities and Capital Planning Sal Filardi has attributed the delay to supply chain shortages, but is this really a clear answer? Myself and the rest of the first-year class are still left with many questions regarding the entire situation. I wonder if we’ll ever be given an apology, or if someone can give us a more formal explanation into everything that occurred?