WHY WAS THERE NO FACULTY CONSULTATION ABOUT THIS PARKING LOT DESIGN?
Architects don't just throw plans at the people paying them and say, "Take it or leave it." They consult and plan with the people who buy their services. Here are some questions Ms. Matson: Who was the architect? What was he asked to do? Who asked him? Was more than one design considered? Was the architect told that the trees had value? Did anyone ask him to save any of the trees, to construct a design that used the trees or some of them? Can you name even one person on the faculty who saw the design? Why weren't the faculty on FACEL notified? Why wasn't the Executive Committee of the Senate notified? When was the decision to go ahead with the "remodel" finalized?
Matson's answer above, as set forth by Shirley Armbruster asserts:
"According to our landscape architect, the existing trees could not be preserved due to the changes in elevations for regrading and the new configuration of stalls and circulation. Furthermore, the architect indicates, the existing trees in the lots were mostly planted in 4’x4’ tree wells that were constrictive. Throughout the years of compromised budgets, these trees were poorly maintained, as was their irrigation system. The poor conditions coupled with the extreme reflected heat from the parking lots compromised the vigor and longevity of these trees, further reducing the trees’ potential lifespan."
Says who? Who was this architect and what were his qualifications to judge the health of the trees or their potential longevity? Was he more expert than John V. Constable of the Biology Dept. or John Bushoven of Plant Science, who inspected the trees as they came down and found them, with only two exceptions, not only to be healthy, but in many cases rooted so deeply that they did not need irrigation? Does the administration discount our own faculty as experts? (That will be news to the Central Valley.)
We have tree experts on the faculty, civil engineers on the faculty--a wealth of expertise. Many of the claims in the above FAQ can now be contested only with difficulty: the evidence is gone to support any other positions--clearcut and bulldozed away.
These are all questions that adequate faculty consultation would have provided and answered before the trees were cut. This is not just about trees, but about destroying a community resource without community consultation. It was cut first, offer rationales second.
Let us reflect a moment on what this FAQ might mean for the remaining parking lots at Fresno State which have trees in them. How many of them have 4 x 4 tree wells? I suspect all of them, especially the older, more beautiful lots such as D. What exactly is the standard of safety and what are the plans for surveillance cameras in other lots? Are there plans to "remodel" the other lots?
I offer the following as commemorative photos of parking lots D and E, west of the Music Building, and Q, north of Barstow, which given administrative standards of consultation, notification, and of course, farsightedness, may be cut down before we even know it. Have architects already been employed?
(If you click on the photos below, they get bigger.)
Lot D looking across to Lot E:
Looking more directly into Lot E:
Lot Q, north of Barstow, which is much like the recently logged lots east of Peters:
Here are some other Big FAQs for Vice President for Administration / CFO Matson:
ARE THESE LOTS SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT THAN A, J, AND UBC IN TERMS OF SECURITY NEEDS?
ARE THERE CRIME STATISTICS TO SHOW THAT LOTS A, J, AND UBC WERE ESPECIALLY IN NEED OF SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS?
ARE THE TREES IN THE LOTS, ABOVE, ACCORDING TO YOUR EXPERTS, IN DISTRESS?
DOES THE ADMINISTRATION PLAN TO LOG OFF THESE LOTS FOR THE SAME REASONS IT LOGGED OFF A, J, AND UBC?