No firm date has been set for completion of the two-phase millennium project, an effort to update GW academic and residence halls with state of the art Internet, telephone, cable and electric wiring, administrators said.
Work has begun on Madison and Mitchell halls, but plans to wire Riverside Towers Hall have been suspended indefinitely because of “budgetary and administrative constraints,” said Alexa Kim, director of Student Academic and Support Services Technology Communications. Riverside already is equipped with cable television service and all other halls are wired.
Kim attributed many of the delays in the project to rules the University has set to protect students and their property. Kim said an escort accompanies all contractors who enter the residence halls.
“We are very sensitive about the security issue for students,” Kim said.
Work in the residence halls was not done during the winter break because the Community Living and Learning Center chose not to allow workers in students’ rooms when they were not there, Kim said.
But students said they were more concerned the construction might interrupt their lives while they are on campus.
“The benefit of the construction doesn’t seem to outweigh the loss of sleep and study time,” Mitchell Hall resident Brian Segers said. “If the project isn’t going to be completed in three or four months, I think that they should suspend the work until this summer.”
Assistant Dean of Students Mark Levine said no firm date has been set for completion of the entire millennium project because of variables that could delay the work. But Kim said all work is expected to be completed by the fall semester.
Students said promises to complete construction are not being kept.
“The noise is really hard to deal with when they’re drilling and I need to get reading done,” Madison Hall resident Linnea Richards said. “I was under the impression at the beginning of the year that the work would be finished before we moved in, or at least before winter break.”
Phase one of the project began in March 1998 in most residence halls. This portion of development involved the wiring of academic buildings with fiber optic connections and some upgraded electrical wiring.
Phase two drilling work started last fall in Madison and Mitchell halls. The core drilling was completed in Mitchell Hall before reading week last semester and work has begun on installing the new technology in individual rooms.
Core drilling in Madison Hall also was completed before winter break, and contractors began installing hallway-to-room connections earlier this month when residents moved back into the building.