As the Marvin Center construction continues into its third year, students came back from winter break to find J Street and the GW Bookstore smaller, making the lunch rush hours and initial book-buying frenzy even more congested than usual.
“In essence we only lost 20 seats with the placement of the temporary wall and there is additional seating in the Hippodrome area,” said Mike Gargano, assistant vice president for Student and Academic Support Services.
Workers finished removing asbestos from the Marvin Center during winter break, clearing the way for construction to continue, Gargano said. The process began November 1998, according to a March 11,1999 Hatchet article.
Asbestos is a material that was used mostly after World War II through the 1970s for thermal insulation and fire proofing. While it has been proven to cause asbestosis, a lung disease, and certain types of cancer, cases are most prevalent for people with long-term exposure to the material, according the Environmental Protection Agency Web site.
Some students said they are not surprised University buildings contain asbestos.
“It’s really everywhere and chances are that the majority of buildings have some amount of asbestos in them,” freshman Paula Morehouse said. “I am not that concerned.”
Gargano said students should not be concerned.
“It was customary for contractors to use asbestos as insulation at the time the Marvin Center was built, because of its fire resistant qualities, but we have taken steps to remove it and there is no reason for concern,” Gargano said.
The third-floor amphitheater and ballroom and the Dorothy Marvin Betts Theatre are scheduled for completion in February, said Mike Brown, head of Marvin Center Operations. But after additional permit delays, the completion of the “Great Hall” and the new 21st Street entrance with a giant glass facade is now postponed until March 2002, originally projected for October 2001 completion.
“I don’t feel this construction has hindered me from anything I don’t ordinarily do and waits are to be expected at J Street,” sophomore Shaun Altneu said.