Zachariah: Fort Collins Construction is annoying, but necessary

Tianna Zachariah

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board. 

Colorado State University? More like ‘Construction State University.’

Ad

Although the construction around campus is unfavorable and often annoying, construction is actually very good for Fort Collins. It stimulates the economy by providing jobs. Construction also establishes identity and creates higher status.  

Construction is good for the economy. According to Forbes, the industry as a whole is booming. Overpopulation is a significant reason for this expansion. Both the construction and real estate industries benefit from overpopulation because it means that their services are in high demand.

Construction projects on campus and throughout Colorado are excellent for the economy because they provide jobs. Construction projects have provided on average 15,000 workers per month this year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Construction is the second largest employer of illegal immigrants, according to the Federation for American Immigrant Reform.

Construction is intense and hard. It demands a lot from the people who choose to do it, and currently that demand is weak. One of the reasons that construction projects take so much time, and why the inconvenience is prolonged, is because talented construction individuals are in decline. The 2008 recession caused many of these skilled individuals to leave the industry. Now that it’s booming, it is difficult to make the supply of workers match the demand of projects.

A new apartment complex being constructed on Plum Street. The new complex is planned to open Fall 2018. | Photo by Tianna Zachariah

The construction of housing in Fort Collins is especially good for students because the more students who choose to attend CSU, the more housing options are needed. A current development in progress is the apartment complex on Plum. It will accommodate 137 more people, and will provide one more option for students who want to live off campus but still close to it.

Construction and facility improvements are not just things to be done, but rather ways to craft an identity. Take for example the stadium. This new amenity makes our college look better than universities without an on-campus stadium, and it keeps us competitive with those that do. CSU’s identity has been altered because of the stadium, and our reputation has changed. For good or for bad is your opinion, but these changes have altered perceptions of Colorado State University.

The status and identity of a place either attracts more people to it, or deters people from it. If decision-makers think that constructing a new stadium or improving facilities around campus will raise our status, it will be done. Because of this higher status, more students will want to attend CSU, which means more money and prestige will be bestowed on the university. Status and identity go hand in hand. When status meets identity, people will be attracted to that place. Construction helps to create both these things at Colorado State University.

On a worldwide level, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States are considered developed countries. Places in Africa and Asia are the least developed countries. People tend to look down on countries that are not as developed because we associate development with status. Construction is a form of status development, and we have an awful lot of it here in the United States.

Although construction is expensive and timely, it provides many benefits that outweigh the drawbacks. When we look through the lens of construction, over population is not necessarily a bad thing. It has caused higher demand for construction services, which then create more jobs for the economy. Also, construction is a way for a society to establish status and identity. Although it may be inconvenient at times, remember that construction is not always a bad thing.

Tianna Zachariah can be reached at letters@collegian.com or online at @TZachariah20

Ad