GW pledges quiet construction

Administrators pledged to minimize the noise from technology upgrades in the residence halls during reading days and final exams at a Residence Hall Association meeting Wednesday.

Work is scheduled to continue in student rooms in Munson, Thurston and Fulbright halls through April 29. The administration agreed to confine work to hallways and corridors from April 30 to May 10.

“There will be no hammering or intense noise,” said Al Ingle, GW’s associate vice president for business affairs.

“It really bothers me that our education is being compromised for cable,” said Courtney Cooley, a Fulbright Hall resident.

Facilities management project manager Jim Hillyard said work will be stopped if students complain.

University administrators met with the RHA executive board before Wednesday’s meeting to develop a compromise to keep the upgrades close to schedule without interfering with exams.

University officials said they will meet with RHA members next week to finalize details of the plan. Administrators said they hope the board will vote to support the compromise, which includes providing alternative study spaces for inconvenienced students.

“We’re asking you for a guarantee and you can’t give it to us,” said Justin Lavella, Munson Hall representative and RHA president-elect. “You are asking us to endorse something we can’t endorse.”

RHA President Randy Bomze said she appreciates the work the administration has done to help students.

“Giving up eight days of working in the rooms is an incredible thing to do,” Bomze said. “I understand residents’ concerns, but some sort of compromise needs to be reached.”

Students described loud noises, moved furniture and paint chips in the rooms. They also were worried about possible asbestos and lead exposure.

Ingle said the University is paying close attention to environmental concerns.

“I’m glad they’re asking students for their opinion,” said Heather Rothman, RHA treasurer and a resident assistant in Thurston Hall. “It’s an excellent compromise.”

But some students were concerned the administration is not doing enough.

“As a student, I’m glad that some RHA representatives are not in support of the compromise,” said Cat Ressler, a freshman in Crawford Hall. “I think they should send a form to students – but (the administration is) afraid students will be informed for once.”

Michael Peller, executive director of Student and Academic Support Services Administrative Services, said it would be impossible to completely suspend work because of University deadlines.

“We want to make sure that by the time you move in (next August), you’ll be hooked up,” Peller said.

Peller said he understands some students will not be happy with any inconvenience.

“If we can please a lot of people, I’ll be happy,” Peller said.

Lavella said some work in the residence halls during exam weeks is inevitable, but he said he is optimistic the administration will follow the guidelines they set forth Wednesday.

“They’re trying to make the best out of a situation they got themselves into that they can’t get out of,” Lavella said.

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