Hospital demolition noise bothers neighbors

With demolition of the old GW Hospital entering its third week, some students living near the site expressed concern about the loud noise caused by the destruction.

The 55-year-old building, located across the street from Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Munson halls, is being razed with a claw and wrecking ball. Demolition, which is conducted Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., is expected to last until December.

Some students said the excessive noise produced by the demolition has become a daily nuisance.

“I have a room facing the site and I’m woken up every morning at 7 a.m.,” said sophomore Marcie Kohenak, who lives in Munson Hall.

Other students said they are concerned about the clouds of debris generated by the demolition.

“My allergies have definitely been affected by the dust. It can’t be good for you,” said junior Valorie Dubovsky, a JBKO resident.

Although the demolition has not impeded access to residence halls, the University blocked off the section of I Street bordering the site.

GW posted flyers and held information sessions in the affected residence halls.

Bob Ludwig, interim director of media relations, said GW has made an effort to gauge students’ reactions to the demolition and that he has not received any complaints.

“We want to make sure people are updated and notified about the demolition,” Ludwig said.

“This is new for us as far as the scale of the demolition, but everybody anticipates that things will go smoothly,” he added. “We want to do things as quickly and safely as possible.”

Before the demolition began, Enviro Control, a company that specializes in hazardous waste disposal, removed asbestos from the hospital, Ludwig said.

Some students said GW could have done a better job of keeping students informed.

“They did not let students know well enough,” sophomore Mike Hunkee said. “There was an optional information session planned, but

few people went.

Others said the demolition has not had an impact on their lives, adding that they wake up early regardless of the noise produced by the crushing and twisting of metal.

“I’ve really had no problems with the demolition so far. It’s just cool to watch,” said junior Stephen Mares, a JBKO resident.

Although part of I Street was closed to pedestrians Saturday, many passersby said they have not been inconvenienced by the demolition, adding that the University has kept them well-informed.

“I don’t think it’s really dangerous. They told us the dust wasn’t noxious, so I’m not worried,” senior Melissa Carter said.

“It’s not dangerous from what I can see,” sophomore MaryKate Martelon said. “The workers are always concerned and telling people where to go.”

Students said there have been no problems getting in and out of residence halls, despite the increase in pedestrian traffic resulting from the partial closure of I Street.

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