Construction work irks students in residence hall

Kevin McCahill

If the sound of pounding hammers at 8 a.m. wasn’t enough, the construction workers with an up-close view into the residence halls raised the ire of some students in Centennial Hall this week.

Centennial Hall residents raised concerns regarding past-due construction work being done on the building. The work was scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer, but is behind schedule, according to University officials.

Centennial Hall Director Jill Pravatiner said the workers are re-waterproofing and remortaring the building.

The project is expected to continue into October.

Pravatiner said she hasn’t heard any residents complain about the work, which is being done on the west wing of the building.

Pravatiner sent an e-mail to students this week regarding the construction and noise, and reminded them to keep their windows closed.

She said it wasn’t likely students knew about the construction work when school began.

“I would tend to doubt it,” she said.

Mannix Clark, associate director of Housing and Residential Life, said that although construction on the residence hall was scheduled to be done by the beginning of the semester, the school tries to let students know about the work.

“Traditionally we do let students know ahead of time,” he said. “Sometimes (construction workers) get slowed down because of weather.”

Robby Cecil said he didn’t like not being notified of the construction. Cecil lives on the second floor of Centennial Hall’s west wing, and is affected by the work.

After spending Friday night out with friends, Cecil was awakened by construction at approximately 9:30 a.m. when he had hoped to get more sleep before going to work that afternoon.

“I wish they would have posted (information about the construction) in the halls instead of what they did,” he said.

Cecil said he also has to keep his blinds shut.

“I’d like to keep blinds open, but with people outside, I don’t feel I should do that,” he said.

Haily Gostas, a second-year journalism and art student was awakened by the construction early Friday morning after a long Thursday of class and work.

She said numerous residents were awakened by the noise that morning around 8 a.m.

After workers told her the construction would continue through the day, Gostas returned to her room and fell asleep, but awoke again to drilling.

“The next thing I know they are right in my window watching me sleep,” Gostas said. “It was the most awkward thing.”

She said she wasn’t able to get ready for class in her bedroom because of the workers outside of her room.

“If you are going to be waking up an entire dorm with obnoxious drilling sounds, (residents) should be notified,” she said. “It was never explained to anyone. We would have appreciated a notice or something.”

Other residents weren’t as affected.

“It’s kind of annoying, but you just have to deal with it. You don’t have a lot of options,” said journalism sophomore Brittany Dyer.

Connie Thompson, assistant director of Housing and Residential Life, who is in charge of facilities, said she sent a letter to the hall director Sept. 1, stating that work would continue into the fall.

Restoration Systems of Minneapolis is doing the work.

Thompson said workers are slightly ahead of schedule, but will likely be working into October. She said their work schedule is made to fit around the residents, working late in the morning and early in the afternoon.

“We are trying to minimize the disruption to students,” Thompson said.