Questions about the slough

Rachel Leman

“Please be advised that over Thanksgiving break, we will begin maintenance on the slough. . . All work should be completed by the end of winter break.,” an email from November 22 said.
“Due to extreme weather conditions over the winter break, the scheduled slough improvements will continue into January,” an email from January 5 said.
“The first phase of the slough improvement project is complete. . . We anticipate planting vegetation and restocking the slough with fish in March/April. The final project, which includes a new asphalt pathway and new lighting, will be completed by late May,” an email from March 5 said.
Those are the only three emails the student body have received regarding the ongoing construction of the slough. These three quotes are essentially all we know, and what we know is constantly changing.
We heard first that construction would be finished by the time we got back from winter break. Then it changed to late January because of snow. Now it won’t be done until May because the original construction was apparently only the first phase.
I don’t care about the school’s decision to take care of the slough and preserve it. In fact, I find it adminarable that Augustana cares so much about its center of wildlife. However, the slough path has essentially been closed since November. Students living in TLAs like Arbaugh and Naeseth have lost the fastest route to their home for half of the school year. If that’s going to be the case, the school should at least give them a few more details than the aforementioned emails.
I’ve already provided a list of things I know about the slough construction. Now, I’d like to list the things I don’t know about it that I would like to:

  • Where is the money coming from to pay for this?
  • When was the decision made to conduct this construction?
  • Is the school hiring private contractors for the construction, or is this an effort by the City of Rock Island?
  • Does this effort have anything to do with the accidental draining of the slough during last summer?
  • What exactly are they doing to the slough, and why was deemed it necessary?
  • Has the drastically different appearance of campus affected the ability of the Admissions office to do their jobs when it comes to recent visit days?
  • Are there any more phases of construction that students don’t know about?

This construction has made a muddy mess of the lower quad and truly disrupted the livelihood of several students, so I really just want to know, is it over yet?