The Tator

Don’t worry! More ‘beautification construction’ will come to UWEC.

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

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This article is satire and is not meant to be taken seriously. It does not reflect the views of The Spectator or UW-Eau Claire.

UW-Eau Claire’s Director of Facilities and University Relations Mike Rindo announced last week that the university’s entire financial budget will henceforth be designated for more campus “beautification construction.”

“We’ve recently had a lot of complaints about the construction picking up, once again, for the Garfield Ave. water feature installation,” Rindo said. “Well, I’m getting real sick of everyone’s whining. From here on out, unnecessary construction will never end on this campus. Not as long as I can help it. That’ll show them.”

The university’s multi-million-dollar budget will no longer be used to improve educational access, nor will it be put toward something many students would consider useful — like a parking structure.

Following the installation of the donated water feature, UW-Eau Claire will begin using its budget to buy and install a series of artistic and decorative statues, structures and oddities around lower campus.

“We’ve already started compiling a list of suggested installations,” Rindo said, “most of which have been suggestions from Chancellor James C. Schmidt himself.”

According to Rindo, the university’s first planned project will be the installation of a life-sized Chancellor Schmidt statue, which will serve as a centerpiece for the new water feature.

Rindo said Schmidt is currently deciding what pose he will use for the statue, but he has decided to have the statue squirting water out of the mouth.

Other future installations include a waterfall that will cascade over the westward face of Centennial, an animatronic Blu the Blugold to be stationed in the center of the campus mall, the installation of blue-and-gold-dyed sidewalk squares and an on-campus shuttle that will go from building to building for $17 a trip.

Jenna Plausing, a second-year elementary education student, said she is not looking forward to the endless construction.

“I’ve dealt with campus construction for the entire time I’ve been here,” Plausing said. “I’m starting to develop automatic fence-induced rage.”

Plausing said the constant detours and distracting noises make her time on campus less appealing than ever. She said she no longer enjoys studying outside.

Construction projections predict it will take more than three miles of fencing to safely and effectively close off all work zones from students. According to Rindo, only two-foot wide pathways will be left open for student access between academic buildings.

“Starting next fall, we will require all students to wear hardhats while on campus,” Rindo said. “Safety before functionality.”

Bill Haverford, one of the Garfield Avenue construction workers, said he could not be more pleased with the work being done at UW-Eau Claire.

“My guys and I will never have to find another job again,” Haverford said. “This lifetime-long project will have us all set until retirement.”

Haverford said the projects are “weirder” than he’s used to, but he’s happy to do them, regardless.

“The water feature and chancellor statue should be easy,” Haverford said. “My fear will be installing a giant robotic bird in the middle of campus. That’s how sci-fi horror movies begin.”

Though some of these future projects have the potential to present safety hazards to students on a daily basis, Rindo said his mission to irritate the students is far more important than avoiding injuries or any possible “iRobot” scenarios.

Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected].