Construction work

by Nathan Whalen

Faculty members and students working in buildings near the Riverbend Commons project are accustomed to daily tremors from ongoing construction.
Although most are adjusting to the week-old activity, employees from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum have voiced a few concerns.
“We are not panicking, but we are monitoring,” said Laura Muessig, the museum’s assistant registrar. She is responsible for the safety of the museum’s permanent collection.
Weisman officials are notified in advance when explosions are scheduled to occur.
Although some art pieces are sensitive enough to be harmed by the vibrations, no works of art have been damaged to date, Muessig said.
Seismographs in buildings surrounding the blast site monitor vibrations from each explosion.
Construction workers have made the explosives weaker after concerns were raised that the vibrations were too strong. A University official at the site said explosions used are within a fraction of the allowable capacity.
Most members of the University community appear to be taking the twice-daily blasts in stride.
“Everything seems to be holding intact,” said Dave Golden, community program specialist for health education at Boynton Health Service.
The construction company has notified individuals in the surrounding buildings daily about the blasting schedule, he added.
Some University staff members appear optimistic about the blasts.
“I’m surprised that it’s going so well,” said Connie Thompson, assistant director of Housing and Residential Life. Housing officials are working with the construction company to create new student residential units.
Some students have also shown an interest in the construction project.
Lori Krueger, a Comstock Hall resident, skipped class last Wednesday to be in her room to feel the first of a monthlong series of blasts.

Nathan Whalen covers facilities and welcomes comments at [email protected] He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3237.