Santa Ana College faculty was out early Monday morning helping students find their classes on a campus fragmented by construction. As part of the “Pardon Our Dust” campaign, staff will be wearing identifying red T-shirts and volunteering their time at stations across campus to guide students during the first few weeks of school.
“I’ve been here since 9 a.m. I’m going until 11 and then I have a class in the I Building,” said Ray Hicks, a professor of English for multilingual students.
Construction has uprooted much of Santa Ana College over the last year, leaving the once-large open spaces between buildings a maze of green and chain-link fences with dedicated pedestrian walkways. Work is heaviest on the center south side of campus and throughout its center, where the former quad is being replaced by a science center, new landscaping and the planned Centennial Circle.
The work is part of the Central Utility Plant and Infrastructure Project that began fall of 2015 and is now scheduled for completion in April 2018, according to the district’s latest update.
New and returning students didn’t seem to mind the construction.
“Everyone is so welcoming, and I feel like that makes everything so much better for freshmen and especially us coming back again so it’s very helpful,” said Ingrid Diaz who has attended SAC for four years.
At the wayfinding stations, which were placed at strategic pedestrian points throughout campus, staff handed out maps and coupons for the new gourmet food trucks.
“I just transferred here from Golden West [College]. It’s kind of hard with this construction but there are people with maps directing us. I like it, it’s helpful,” said new SAC student Tayana Brunswick.
SAC’s new president Linda Rose was also helping direct students to their classrooms, even walking through the parking lots and into the neighborhoods around campus to meet students.
“All the stations are staffed it’s really wonderful. I am so pleased that people are participating. We love our students,” said Rose. “At least you know someone cares about you. We set the tone for you.”