September 27, 2020

By TIFFANY WILSON

What once was a 10-minute walk is now a 23-minute trek.
Conestoga College was told by the Region of Waterloo that the service road access along Homer Watson Boulevard had to be closed for liability and insurance reasons.
The road has been closed since March 9.
Peter Schlei, manager of facilities management at the Doon campus, said leaving the fence open was encouraging students to use an unsafe area.
“It is not an approved pathway on the property. This leaves the college at a liability if something happened,” he said.
College staff was aware that not only students walking to the Cambridge campus were the ones who used the service road, but also students walking from the carpool lot and residence.
Schlei said there have been many reports of close calls along Homer Watson because students weren’t being smart. Instead of using the crosswalk, they were crossing at various points along the road to access the service road entrance.
However, students are annoyed and frustrated by the closure of the service road, resulting in some of them jumping the fence.
Mitchel Vandenberg, a manufacture engineering student, has to walk from the opposite side of the Doon campus to get to the Cambridge campus for his classes every day.
“It’s annoying. It takes much longer to get to school now,” he said.
If the college were to provide sidewalks and snow removal, the service road could reopen, but that takes time and money, said Schlei.
In the meantime, the college was also told by the region to post signs on and around the red gates at the Cambridge campus because students continually jump them. The signs will say people are to use the maintained sidewalks and entrances, he said.