Does MU Fall “Flat” in Cleaning Construction?

The construction of the University’s latest building, Pozycki Hall, has inconveniently stripped students of a vast majority of parking spaces – that is old news. Now, however, another problem caused by the site has come into question by The Outlook: car problems potentially caused by inadequate clean-up of the construction.

Just last week, one editor noticed she received a flat tire just after parking in the Bey Hall. After driving less than one mile from her off-campus rental through the Bey parking lot then to the Plangere lot, the flat was first noticed. After getting the car assessed, it was determined that a nail was the cause. She had to shell out an inconvenient $150 payment for a brand new tire.

The Outlook feels there is a likelihood that the nail may have come from the on-campus construction, given the short amount of time it took to get from the house to the parking lot. This occurrence was the first flat tire that the staff has considered to be a possible result of the new building’s construction.

The Outlook agreed that because the construction site’s proximity to the parking lot, it does at least have potential to cause flats. As one editor said, “The construction site is so close to the parking lot that any nail or some other type of metal can easily fly out onto the lot.” Thus, that could explain the mysterious nail that ended up popping the editor’s tire within such a short distance.

On the other hand, one editor noted, “It would be somewhat difficult to put the blame completely on the University, just because there is potential to get a flat tire from a nail virtually anywhere, although it is increased now because of the instruction.”

As it turns out, the editor who faced the problem first-hand reached out to other students to see if she was alone with this situation. The editor stumbled across three other students who have recently suffered from flat tires in the parking lot of Bey Hall due to a nail embedding into their tires.

Erica Bonavitacola, a senior communication major, ran into her first flat tire trouble two weeks ago.  “I was driving through the commuter lot at school by Bey Hall. As soon as I exited the parking lot, I felt like my car was wobbling. By the time I reached my house, it was pretty clear that I had an issue. I got out to look and my back left tire had a giant hole in and was completely deflated. The hole in the tire was so drastic and it deflated so quickly, I really think I must’ve run over some debris from the construction next to Bey Hall,” she said.

Bonavitacola spent $300 to replace her two tires so she could maintain the alignment of her car.

If this is the case, one editor said, “Considering that many of us won’t get to benefit from the new building [due to us graduating], the least they could do is pay for our flats.”

Another editor agreed, “The campus should be responsible for the reimbursement because they raised our tuition to build the new hall and now they are making those who have had flat tires pay once again.”

One editor disagreed and stated, “The University should be notified of this concern, as there seems to be a potential correlation, but for the University to pay for the matter might complicate things. How would the University know that a student didn’t just have a horrible tire to begin with? That’s where it can get a little hairy.”

Unfortunately, for those impacted by flat tires, there is no hard evidence that the construction in the parking lot is to blame for these flats.

The Outlook has come to the consensus that addressing the issue with the University is best even if it cannot be proven the nail came from the construction lot. If more students are facing this problem as well, it could influence the University to be more proactive about this issue.