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University News

All-night construction on Thayer ‘unbearable’ for students

By
Staff Writer
Monday, October 10, 2011

All-night construction on Thayer Street angered and exhausted students in nearby dorms.

All-night construction on Thayer Street to complete renovations to the Metcalf Chemistry and Research Laboratory Sept. 29 left angry and tired students in its wake.

“At the completion of the Metcalf renovation project, Thayer Street was cold planed and re-paved,” Stephen Maiorisi, vice president of facilities management, wrote in an email to The Herald. He added that no further construction on Thayer is planned.

“Nighttime construction occurs only when necessary,” he explained, adding that pedestrian safety is one reason for authorizing construction at night.

This is not the first time Brown has resorted to overnight construction, Maiorisi wrote. Two years ago, the strategy was employed when workers replaced the University’s high temperature hot water piping.

While Maiorisi said he was not aware of any formal noise complains, students like Adam Frees ’13 were nonetheless disturbed by the late-night construction. Frees wrote in an email to The Herald that he first noticed the noisy construction around 2 a.m. one night, when he was trying to fall asleep.

Margarita Rodriguez ’13, who lives in Hegeman D, said the construction made her “very uncomfortable.”

“It was very hot that night,” she said. “I wanted to keep my window open, and I couldn’t because the sound was just unbearable.”

Laura Curlin ’13 said the “loud and disruptive” construction noises interrupted her sleep.

Maiorisi wrote that construction — which was supposed to begin around 4 p.m. and end between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. — did not begin until 6 p.m. due to unforeseen problems. At that point, “the asphalt was already on its way to the site, so the project couldn’t be postponed to another time,” Maiorisi wrote.

Frees said he was impressed the Department of Facilities Management finished the work in a single night, but he was still frustrated. “I understand that they had a schedule to keep,” he wrote, “but it was really inconsiderate of them to not give any warning to the hundred or so students that live less than 50 feet from where they were jackhammering at 4 in the morning.”

In fact, students had been warned, according to Maiorisi. In accordance with its policy, Facilities Management had originally coordinated with the Office of Residential life to alert students of the construction by sending a morning mail announcement that day.

But Maiorisi acknowledged there was a breakdown in communication after the delayed start.  Once construction did begin, Facilities Management did not coordinate with ResLife to see how the change in timing would affect students living nearby, he wrote.

— With additional reporting by Claire Peracchio

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