By Tina Fortunato
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – It’s hard not to notice the constant construction taking place on the Camden County College Blackwood campus. The trucks and noise have left students wondering what is to come – a new building? More parking? Or is it a new road?

On the Camden County College website is a link to information about changes around campus. The construction is a part of the “Camden County College Improvement” program. Construction began last November.

Workers are making a “ring road” on campus connecting Peter Cheeseman Road to Roosevelt Drive East (next to the gym). The road is said to improve traffic conditions for students and faculty of CCC. “The new ring road project will increase our parking spaces by approximately 10% at the Blackwood Campus,” according to the college.

Until the construction is finished, the road is providing access for machinery and trucks being used to help build a new building. The new building will be a science building, estimated to be complete by the fall semester of 2012. The new science building is being built on 107,000 square feet of the campus property, between Taft Hall and McDonnell Criminal Justice Center. The three-story building will consist of 18 biology and chemistry labs, a dental clinic, a nursing arts center, a demo kitchen, 26 classrooms, faculty and administrative offices and a student commons/café. The building will provide state-of-the-art equipment for life, physical and health sciences.

A Blackwood Campus Walk Project is also part of the program. This will consist of adding more pathways and will be landscaped with trees and plants.

“We’re basically making a ring road, hooking up with the existing road and coming out next to the gym,” Ant Clements of the grounds department said of the construction as he sat on top of a front end loader. “This will help reduce traffic. After the road there will be a new building behind the library.”

Workers are also doing “a lot of cleanup” of the property, Clements said.

About the landscaping, Clements said, “A lot overgrew and got out of hand, so we’re trying to scale it back.”

But are all these transformations affecting the students?

Although some students may consider the noises of construction to be distracting, Phil Sanville, a student on the Blackwood campus who often has class in Truman Hall, said, “I don’t really hear anything in the classroom.”

The construction is expected to be completed in two years.

Work proceeds by the baseball and soccer fields. By Tina Fortunato/CCC Journalism Program

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