Construction noise concerns residents

Students living on GW’s Mount Vernon campus said they are frustrated about construction and renovation projects throughout their campus.

(The construction) makes doing anything outside of the dorm a hassle because you have to go out of your way to get anywhere – like the dining hall, classes or the shuttle, said Maralyn Tocco, a freshman who lives in Pelham Hall.

Construction of a new entrance off of Whitehaven Parkway and new athletic fields and renovations to Somers Hall, a residence hall, began in July, said Grae Baxter, executive dean of Mount Vernon.

Some construction projects, including an addition to Somers Hall, are not scheduled to be completed until the start of the next school year. Other projects, including a new NCAA-level lacrosse and soccer field, should be finished by Nov. 1, Baxter said.

The campus is home to two living and learning programs – Women and Power and Emerging Leaders.

Many complaints about the construction stemmed from students who live in Pelham Hall, who say they are upset about having to walk around the large construction sites and a four-inch deep mud puddle.

I think it is a pain that we have to walk all the way around, but by October they’ll have a path across, said Angie Vick, a junior who lives in Pelham. I am worried about when it’s icy on the hill to Pelham, it could be dangerous.

But Baxter said she hasn’t heard any complaints from students.

The students have been great, she said. I have personally not heard a single complaint. I think there is curiosity about what’s going on and when it will be done. My impression is that they are taking it in stride and it’s a fact on the campus this year.

Baxter said construction hasn’t interfered with any campus services – with the exception of the large mud puddle.

Some students complained about the noise associated with the construction, which begins at about 7 a.m. daily, students said.

They should change the starting time in the morning from 7 to 10 (a.m.) because we really need quiet to study and sleep, freshman Erika Siano said. I’ve been woken up by the construction before.

But not all students said they are upset about the construction. Kim Akuna was worried about her safety with a large presence of construction workers nearby, but said she has felt safe since I’ve been here.

It hasn’t bothered me except for the disgusting mud puddle, but I think it will be good once it is completed because it will bring more people out here, freshman Cori Antonellis said.
-Jason Steinhardt contributed to this report.

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