Walk to new labs concern for students

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     The fall semester started out with a number of changes causing discomfort for staff and students at Tyler Junior College.

     The Woodlands is a temporary set of buildings, replacing most of the Genecov science building, which is under construction. It is the new location for the science lab courses.

     A lot of thought had been put into how this change would affect students.

     “We have looked, studied, thought and collected from a student’s perspective, what would you encounter in the time you walk from our parking lot, down the block till you get to the Woodlands,” said Director of Campus Safety Randy Melton.

     According to Melton, there have been security measures put in place to identify the campus property and space, working in conjunction with the City of Tyler.

     “I’m pretty comfortable with security driving through pretty regular,” said Clay Wallace, freshman. “They have a campus police car parked in front of the gate. I really don’t have any concerns about the walk.

     “My only concern is some of the people driving through. They are still speeding.”

According to Melton, David Mann is the current Campus Safety guard assigned to the evening shift at the Woodlands.

     In addition to surveillance cameras, improved street lighting for a better night view has been added by the City of Tyler and TJC for the area. Tree trimming to help with visibility and crosswalk signs have been added and made more visible on Devine and Porter streets.

     “We have assigned a campus safety guard,” said Melton. “His patrolling area is from Ornelas to the Woodlands is his assignment in a shift from 3 to 11 in the evening time.”

     However, some precautions are the same for day-time classes including the presence of a physical patrol.

“Teachers are doing very well with the change,” said Melton. “The only complaint that has been heard from the community was one that a car was parked on Porter Street, which is legal because it is on the side of the street.”

     The campus was told in mid-October that parking would be permitted on the side of Devine Street. The surprise was two weeks before the spring semester started when the City of Tyler added the “No Parking Anytime” signs across the street.

     “The city came in and our traffic department looked at the congestion, the size of the street, the number of vehicles, so they put up the signs,” said Melton.

     “It may have something to do with the crosswalk itself,” Executive Director of Campus Safety Dr. Tom Johnson said.

     According to Johnson, the remodeling work for the Genecov building is expected to be completed by the summer and not take a 12-month period as was previously thought.

     “We were told that we had to do it both in the Spring and Fall semester, now… it looks like they will be through this Summer, so this will only impact one big semester, which is a very nice thing, so I’m pleasantly surprised,” said Johnson.

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