By Roderick Macioch
Residents of Wolfe Hall have had their sleep and study times disrupted, starting Monday, April 4, from 4:30 p.m. to midnight due to a construction project taking place behind the building. Barring any unexpected problems, work is expected to be completed by Friday, April 15, according to the College’s spokesperson Dave Muha.
The project “is a stormwater remediation project,” Muha said via email. “In the past several years, during heavy downpours, the College has experienced damaging floods to the Rec Center, and Travers (and) Wolfe. Consequently, we are installing a larger capacity underground stormwater system that can take the volume of water that runs off from the upper reaches of campus.”
The project had been in planning stages for several months before the construction crew broke ground to gain access to the defective system. It has just recently begun to affect students, however, as the din of construction can regularly be heard as late as midnight.
“I assure you this construction would not be taking place if it were not of grave importance to the upkeep of the building,” Wolfe Hall’s Residence Director Marvin Carter said in an email to Wolfe residents on Tuesday, April 5.
However, for Wolfe residents, many of whom have experienced a disruption in their sleep and study schedules because of the noise, the necessity of the project is little consolation at the moment.
The construction is disrupting their sleep, according to freshman biology major and Wolfe Hall resident Jeffrey Garcia-Sanchez.
“It is definitely affecting sleep,” he said. “It takes a bit longer for me to get to sleep, mostly because the construction is pretty much directly below me.”
Garcia-Sanchez mentioned that another frustrating aspect of the project has been the minimal communication to Wolfe residents about the progress of the project.
“(Carter) sent an email to us saying it wouldn’t take more than a week,” Garcia-Sanchez said. “That’s about all the communication there was.”
This has left many students wondering why the work cannot be done during the day when it would be less of a distraction.
According to Muha, there is a simple explanation as to why construction must take place at night.
“Campus Construction changed the hours a week ago so as not to impact Sodexo operations. Sodexo needs to get their deliveries done in the morning,” Muha said. “Sodexo schedules all of its deliveries for the morning. Deliveries go to (T-Dubs) at the ground level to allow them to serve food the rest of the day. Because construction limits the ability of large delivery trucks to get to the loading area at (T-Dubs), the College adjusted the construction schedule. Starting at noon allows the delivery vehicles to come and go without interrupting construction or the deliveries. This saves time and money on both sides.”
While late-night construction is inconvenient for students, there really is no alternative, according to Muha.
In the same email from Carter, he went on to say that the construction would not affect the Internet or other building facilities. By all accounts, this promise has been kept.
Things should be getting back to normal soon because, according to Muha, “This should be the last week of construction.”
This is confirmed by the Division of Administration’s Campus Construction Website, which features a progress report of current construction projects.
“After investigation phase, many utilities were discovered in the way of the new piping. After months of redesign, the project is now back on track,” according to the site.
Starting Monday, April 11, the work is supposed to begin at noon each day and wrap up at 10 p.m. each night, according to Muha. For a few days more, students will have little choice but to contend with the inconvenience.